EA Motive continues to make headlines.
Based in Montreal, the developer is best known for making the critically acclaimed Star Wars Squadrons, and has already built a reputation for working with fan favorite IPs. It’s currently working on the remake of Dead Space, which is due out in January.
And with Dead Space coming to the end of its development, the team has its eyes on another major project. Just two weeks ago, it announced that it is teaming up with Marvel to create a brand new Iron Man video game.
We caught up with Patrick Klaus, general manager of EA Motive, to discuss the new projects, the people they're looking for, and what it is like to work for the studio:
Tell us about what you are working on right now?
I feel Motive is in a really good place today. We have momentum from our previous releases, and this experience has helped forge rock solid foundations as we hit our seventh year of existence.
Right now, we’re in the polishing touches and debugging of the Dead Space remake, which will release on January 27th. And last month, we announced our next project which we’re beyond thrilled about – a brand new action adventure Iron Man game, in partnership with Marvel Games. The reactions have been very positive and the team is psyched.
I love this mix of EA-owned iconic IP in Dead Space, as well as Iron Man, literally one of the biggest characters in entertainment. As a developer, it creates opportunities for us to deploy our creativity and talent, which we hope will resonate with our passionate communities.
"As a studio, we are laser focused on creating memorable single player action adventure games"
Working on a Marvel game is quite simply a dream come true. Many of us grew up with Marvel, fascinated by the stories, SuperHeroes and Villains then, and equally now. My Hulk action figure and I were inseparable as a child, and my imagination went wild with crazy adventures.
As a studio, we are laser focused on creating memorable single player action adventure games. That’s where most of our expertise as a team is and that’s what we love doing. Different players have different needs and there will always be a significant market for story-driven games, mixed with innovative gameplay and player agency. EA recognizes this and we are lucky to be one of the studios tasked with this mission.
We’re taking on the responsibility of delivering on the fantasy of those incredible brands very seriously. In a fun way though, because let’s not forget we’re making games.
You’re currently hiring for the Iron Man project, so what sort of people are you looking for to join the team?
First and foremost, we’re looking for candidates who have a mindset and values that are going to be compatible with ours: an ambition to achieve great things, but also deeply human traits such as team spirit and humility, the ability to take feedback, the desire to challenge the status quo, and willingness to learn. Of course, we’re all different, and that’s a strength which I want to nurture and grow at Motive, with the highest level of inclusion being non-negotiable for us. Fostering diversity and representation within our teams, and reflective of our players, will ultimately lead to better work, and better games.
Hard skills and experience are important, particularly in senior roles, but we’re also committed to welcoming and investing in the next generation of game making talent.
Another priority is to find talent who are fans of our franchises, or very interested in working on them. That can be the difference between an OK game and a great game, so it’s really important to me.
What makes Motive a special place to work?
A common value we share at Motive is the willingness to keep improving every day, and this includes my leadership team and I. We invest in the growth of our teams with robust learning programs, integrated in our day-to-day work, and protected time for people to be curious and improve their crafts. We're cultivating a culture of excellence, while remembering that we're human.
"We also have a bit of an indie vibe and have a high level of autonomy"
We believe the game development journey is just as important as the destination, so there’s a lot of emphasis on “how” we do things. Everyone has a voice, regardless of title or seniority, and we practice an open culture where it’s safe to share ideas, opinions and take calculated risks. We put the same emphasis on listening to players and sharing transparently, with a regular feedback loop and constant iteration. The close collaboration between the Dead Space remake community council and our team has been invaluable, as well as the feedback from the Developer livestreams.
We trust our employees, so they are empowered to decide whether they work from home or from the studio. We've proven that we're able to make games in this model, however, I will admit it feels good to connect in real life. We had a summer BBQ at the studio a few weeks ago, where everyone had a smile on their face, connecting with colleagues and having fun together. It was so energizing.
We also have a bit of an indie vibe and have a high level of autonomy in what we do and how we do things, with the support of the Electronic Arts family. The best of both worlds really, and based in beautiful Montreal, which is such a great city to make games. It’s a rare mix for a studio, and excellent conditions for us to do our best work.