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EA Motive’s Jade Raymond says her next big game comes from a new creative mindset

Assassin’s Creed co-creator talks about Motive’s secret project

Electronic Arts

We know that Jade Raymond’s studio Motive is working on a big game, based on an entirely new idea, but the Electronic Arts-owned studio has yet to reveal any details.

At the annual GamesBeat conference Monday night, Raymond spoke about how she’s approaching this new intellectual property, drawing comparisons with her work on the original Assassin’s Creed back in 2004.

With Assassin’s Creed, Raymond headed up Ubisoft’s successful effort to create a franchise that would last for years, and that could spawn movies, books and other entertainment strands. Speaking at GamesBeat, she said her goal for Motive’s game is different.

“Then, with Assassin’s Creed, we were thinking, ‘how can we build a new brand that can evolve and live on, that other developers can take up and evolve?’” she said. “That was the framework. But now we are asking ourselves, how can we create a brand that can be owned by the fans, and the players.”

Raymond worked at Ubisoft between 2004 and 2014, launching franchises and setting up studios. In 2015, she began working for Electronic Arts, setting up Motive in Montreal. So far, the studio helped out with Star Wars Battlefront 2, and is working on other Star Wars games alongside EA Vancouver and EA Worldwide Studios developers.

Much of EA’s business comes from popular entertainment and sports licenses. Sometimes, the company buys games franchises through studio acquisitions, such as BioWare. But it’s making big bets on new IP, such as BioWare’s Anthem and Motive’s new game.

Raymond said that the relationship between players and games has changed, adding that studios must adapt to those changes. “It’s not about, ‘here are the people who make the games and here are the people who play the games,’” Raymond said said, citing streamers, modders and other influencers as creators who blur the lines.

One thing we can expect from Motive, is the unexpected. “There is no formula for making games,” Raymond said. “I love it when I see a game and I can’t define what it is. I think a lot of things will change in games, in drastic ways.”

Correction: A previous version of this story mentioned that Visceral Studios was working on Star Wars games at EA. That studio was shuttered in October 2017.

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