Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, the sequel (or reboot. Or prequel. Best not to ask) to 2008’s parkour platformer Mirror’s Edge has been performing to publisher Electronic Arts’ expectations since it got its retail release last month.
This comes from an interview EA’s global publishing boss Laura Miele did with industry website GamesIndustry.biz.
I mean, Mirror’s Edge, for us, was a creative risk and we revisited old IP but we really freshened it up. So we really saw that as a character-based action game for us that we stayed with.
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst saw the franchise move from a more directed linear progression to an open world game, a design choice that soon proved to be a divisive one with the fans and games media (us included) and got mixed reviews upon release. Despite this, Miele says that the game has been “definitely meeting our expectations”.
We are pretty happy to bring this character and this world to market. It’s a big open world game, so we made a lot of evolution from the original experience and we’re very proud of that. I also think that Mirror’s Edge as a game IP – we talked earlier about the EA Originals, about having creative content, having a first person action game, having Faith and her story and character as a mix in the industry, is important for us.
The article also talks about EA’s shift in focus to a more player-minded company that puts fun being at play first. Miele says that it’s become their priority to foster upcoming talents in the games industry and to treat their developers and their products well, saying that helping smaller studios reach a wider audience will be good for EA and the games industry as a whole. The EA Originals program helps these smaller studios reach the global market and will get all the revenue the game generates after EA has had their return on investment. Developers who take part in this program will also retain the rights to their IP, leaving them free to do what they want with the franchises they released through EA.
Miele also talks about the hugely anticipated Battlefield 1, which is scheduled to be released in October of this year. In a time where a lot of shooters are moving more towards future warfare and science fiction, EA and DICE’s decision to focus on the First World War for their next big release was a risk they felt was worth taking.
We zigged when the market was zagging in shooters. It was something that, at the moment that we put out the press release, to get the fan response that we did, was incredibly gratifying and it was pretty thrilling to see how the market received the game in that way.
When you think about the major pillars of a Battlefield game – big, large, epic scale battles, massive vehicles, super diverse gaming tactics. The WW1 backdrop was actually a perfect place for us to map those pillars to that setting.
While the fans of Battlefield and Call of Duty have been fighting an online war, Miele isn’t as focussed on the rivalry between the franchises.
I welcome the competitive challenge, but I also have a lot of respect for what our competitors do when new games come to market. I think it’s just a fun competition and I think our fans and our players love to play it up. That’s kind of the nature of our industry as the entertainment category that we’re in.
What do you think of the interview? What did you think of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst if you played it? What are your thoughts on EA’s approach to Battlefield 1 so far?