DICE "begged" EA to develop Star Wars: Battlefront, EA Games executive VP Patrick Soderlund has claimed, revealing that an alternate studio was almost signed up to develop the upcoming multiplayer shooter.
"[DICE developing Star Wars: Battlefront] was almost not happening," Soderlund said in an interview with CVG. "It was just something as boring as resources and availability. The DICE guys Karl Magnus Troedsson and Patrick Bach were talking and I told them we were in dialogues with Disney over this deal and they just looked at me and said, 'Why haven't you spoken to us? What are you doing? We want to make Battlefront.'"
But why didn't EA think of DICE first? Well, the publisher claims that it assumed DICE wouldn't be interested in working on a licensed title.
"DICE is a very particular place and they are very proud of what they do and you don't really tell them what to do," Soderlund continued. "I didn't anticipate them wanting to work on a license - they've always been new IP or their own IP. But they were just like, 'we would kill to make this game' and the whole studio started talking about it like, 'please give us this game'.
"That's when I called Frank [Gibeau, EA Labels boss] and I realised we had something here. 'If they want it that badly, then the game will be freaking awesome - we have to figure it out'. So we figured it out, we got them the game and it was that simple. They begged to do it, the opportunity was there and that's exactly why you'll see a game that will be what it needs to be."
Star Wars Battlefront was announced during EA's E3 press conference earlier this month. The game is being developed by the Battlefield team using the Frostbite 3 engine.
"You will have people that have worked on Battlefield for many years on it, you will have Patrick [Bach - Battlefield 4, Executive Producer] himself involved in it. These are experienced DICE people in Sweden building this game - it's being built in Stockholm.
"When it comes to the actual game, the approach we're going to take is it's a rebirth of the brand, it is Star War: Battlefront done the DICE way. The original Battlefront games actually took a lot of inspiration from Battlefield and they've been publicly open about that. As the guys said, the game is 'coming home'. That's as much as we can say."
Dead Space developer Visceral Games is also working on a Star Wars title, expected to be unrelated to Battlefront.