Founder of Electronic Arts’ Motive Studios, and former founder of Ubisoft Toronto, Jade Raymond, officially left EA yesterday for good. Raymond departed Ubisoft in 2014 for unknown reasons and joined EA in 2015, founding Motive Studios while also running Visceral Games studio.
EA shut Visceral Games down in October of 2017, shortly after the studio presented a demo Star Wars game. Amy Hennig, Star Wars designer, and game writer worked on that demo with Jade Raymond. EA, wanting to shift away “single player linear games”, moved the unnamed Star Wars game to its Worldwide Studios in Vancouver. Not long after, Amy Hennig decided to part ways with the company in June of 2018.
With Jade Raymond leaving, everything Raymond was running falls onto Samantha Ryan’s shoulders. As of now, Ryan is overseeing EA mobile, Maxis, BioWare studios, and Motive.
“EA Studios is focused on bringing more creative new games and content to players,” stated an EA spokesperson to GameSpot. “Laura Miele and her team have taken several steps internally to better support our game makers in this pursuit, such as expanding Samantha Ryan’s portfolio to lead additional studios, including Motive. Samantha is known for driving creative design and supporting game teams, so they can bring their visions to life. She is a deeply experienced game-maker with a gameography that spans from The Sims to Batman: Arkham City to No One Lives Forever to the highly-anticipated Anthem.”
In another twist of events, EA apparently kept the Visceral Star Wars game, asking Raymond to tweak it more to their liking. There were rumors Raymond wasn’t happy with the changes, and its confirmed she tried to keep much of the original data. Now that Raymond is leaving, it can only be assumed that Ryan will be taking over. But what does that say about this mysterious Star Wars game?
“With this change, Jade Raymond has decided to leave Electronic Arts,” says the same EA spokesperson. “In her time with us, Jade helped to build great teams, and our projects underway at Motive and other studios continue unchanged. We’re appreciative of all of her efforts, and we wish Jade all the best as she moves on to her next adventure. We are driving greater creativity into everything we do across EA Studios, and we’ll look forward to sharing more in the months to come.”
Meanwhile, there’s still a Star Wars game in production under Respawn (which is not under Samantha Ryan’s authority). Jedi Fallen Order (Respawn game) is expected to hit shelves late 2019 (around the same time as Episode IX premiers).
Should Disney and Lucasfilm continue to let EA make Star Wars games? Should EA invest in Battlefront II or in developing new games? Let us know in the comments below. “May the Force be with you, always.”