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Innovating under the constraints of triple-A success

Innovating under the constraints of triple-A success Exclusive

September 10, 2012 | By Christian Nutt

"I have to say that sometimes I think we get too much crap for not being innovative."
- DICE GM Karl Magnus Troedsson on EA's reputation.

EA has a reputation, as a major game publisher, of purveying more of the same all the time. Is that a fair characterization of the company?

Not according to Troedsson. "EA is actually very prone to try out new things," he says, in a new Gamasutra feature interview. "And I have to say that sometimes I think we get too much crap for not being innovative.

"We do release new IPs, and we do take care of IPs that have been out there. And perhaps not so successful, but we try to get new things out there as well."

However as Troedsson admits, the reputation is, to an extent, understandable. "Now, that might sound strange coming from me, working on Battlefield. We've been around for 10 years, and we just keep doing more of the same, but being innovative in that space."

Earlier this year, EA's core games boss Patrick Soderlund told Gamasutra about the company's innovation labs. Toredsson says that while the small innovations are hard to pinpoint for outsiders, they make it into DICE's products. "like the movement, or part of the movement, from Mirror's Edge, and put into BF3, for instance. That's a typical example. And there are those examples that have gone into big products that people don't really know about, but they actually came from smaller, other, more innovative test experiments inside of DICE."

Innovation is "tricky", says Troedsson. "Innovation is something that actually changes something for the better, renews something -- and I think we do that all the time."

"But some of them are big and some of them are small, and some people disagree, saying, 'That's not an innovation!' and it's like, 'No, maybe not for you, but for the people playing the game it's a big thing.'"

The full interview with Troedsson, live now, goes deeper into the way DICE looks at innovation, how and why the Battlefield series has evolved, and more.

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