Almost three months after leaving EA in August 2018, former DICE CEO and EA executive Patrick Söderlund has announced his next chapter in the gaming industry. He is teaming up with MapleStory publisher Nexon to found a new developer called Embark Studios. The studio has been open less than a week and hasn’t announced any projects yet.
Söderlund announced the news during a Nexon earnings call in Tokyo. The publisher has invested in the startup and will also act as Embark Studio’s publisher. Söderlund and his team had nothing to show at the time of the announcement, but did give a vague idea of what kinds of projects the new studio will embark on.
He said in a release that the studio wants to build games with multiple “abstract layers of simulation.” Here is his full statement.
What if you could have 10 abstraction layers of simulation in a game where you could choose to become a farmer, or go into politics, or join the military, or be a professional athlete, inside of that world? These are some of the questions that are in my head.
Söderlund joined EA after the publisher acquired Battlefield developer DICE, where he was CEO. He began to rise through the ranks and eventually became the Chief Design Officer overseeing all games from the company. He announced his departure in August 2018, although he didn’t give a reason for it at the time. However, Söderlund said this new opportunity will allow him to “to get back to actually making games,” which he became increasingly distant from as he rose through the ranks at EA.
While Embark doesn’t have any confirmed projects at this moment, Söderlund says we may see games “quicker than you’d expect.”
[Source: The Verge]