Dice spin-off is haunting Gothenburg

Last year Electronic Arts launched a new Swedish game studio called EA Gothenburg. It has been eight years since Dice moved from Gothenburg to Stockholm.

Dice have now decided to create a new studio, Ghost in the center of Gothenburg. Here development of new games for the Need for Speed series will take place. The goal is to be as reputable as Dice.

The responsibility for the studio was fell to Marcus Nilsson, who had been working for Dice since 2002 and been a part of Dice’s former manager and the recent EA- “hot shot” Patrick Söderlund’s immediate workgroup.

The choice was not a coincidence. Nilsson himself worked at the former Dice Gothenburg office before it moved to Stockholm eight years ago. He also led the development of Need for Speed shift and it’s a Need for Speed game that the new studio will develop.

– It is both exciting and difficult to create a new game while building up a new studio. We are building a game of very high quality while we at the same time, building our own corporate culture. It’s a challenge, but we have all the right pieces to succeed.

Recently they decided on a new name, Ghost. – We didn’t want to be simply EA Gothenburg; we wanted to have our own identity. It was tricky to come up with a good name. Finally we arranged an internal competition, the one who won got an Ipad3. We received 250 suggestions and we fell for Ghost.

65 people already work at Ghost, in the spring it will be 85, enough to build the next Need for speed.

– Yes we will get very far with that, but we will also work with external consultants and other studios, it’s a lot of little things that could be done outside of our own studio walls. That’s the way all larger developers work. Hopefully we can find developers to work with locally; geographical proximity is always an advantage.

Ghost’s entrance changes the Gothenburg game scene that has been surprisingly weak when it comes to larger game development. There are a few companies that make mobile- and indie games, but larger development studios have been absent. Since Dice closed in 2004, however both Grin and Simbin used to have larger studios here, but one went bankrupt and the other one closed down and moved.

– The basic strategy for establishing a studio in Gothenburg was basically because there are a lot of talented people here who do not want to live in Stockholm. If you want to work with them, you have to be here. And it has proved to be right. Looking at the experience we have an awesome group here with the first people we hired. And we would never had gotten a hold of them in Stockholm, says Nilsson.

That Gothenburg is located about an hour’s flying time closer to England is also an advantage, both for the success in attracting British developers and because that the other EA studio that makes Need for Speed ​games, Criterion, is there.

Ghost is part of what is called Games at EA. It’s the business that Patrick Söderlund has responsibility for, and therefore Ghost is under his responsibility. Nevertheless a new Dice is nothing Marcus has an interest in building.

– I’ll bring a lot of Dice attitude to game development. Dice also have a culture where everyone can say what they think and have opinions, I want to have that here as well. But we’ll be our own; we will build Ghost and make games of high quality in our own way.

Source : www.idg.se
Translated by Ghost Games