EA’s head of development addresses last year’s Battlefront II controversy and going from a three-person team to making multimillion-dollar games
In 2017, there were 7,672 games released on Steam, the world’s most popular video game service. That’s 21 games every single day. (For context, in 2013 that number was 565.) As of January 2018, if you filter out the dross, the average Steam game sells about 1,000 copies, according to independent data-crunching by publisher No More Robots. This is the dispiriting reality that independent game developers are working with: at this month’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, there were queues up and down the hallway for a talk entitled “Making indie games that sell”.
Patrick Söderlund is the executive vice-president of one of the biggest game publishers in the world, EA – a company far removed from these problems, making multimillion-dollar games with studios that employ hundreds of people. Twenty years ago, though, he was part of a three-person team working out of an apartment in Sweden, making the original Battlefield games that have since become one of EA’s largest money-makers. It’s partly this experience that has led him to believe that big publishers such as EA should help independent games get made.