EA has announced a number of shakeups for the Battlefield franchise, including the departure of creative director Lars Gustavsson and a new studio building a story-driven campaign under Halo veteran Marcus Lehto.
Ridgeline Games is being established in Kirkland, Washington, a suburb of Seattle, and is set to develop a “narrative campaign set in the Battlefield universe.” EA’s press release (opens in new tab) does not provide any additional details on the game – at this point, we don’t even know if it will be a standalone title or part of a larger game with Battlefield’s traditional multiplayer features. A tweet from Ridgeline says that they’ll “work closely” with other EA studios like DICE, Ripple Effect, and Industrial Toys.
Marcus Lehto will serve as game director and head of the studio. Lehto was an art director at Bungie in the studio’s early days, and co-created the original Halo. He served as a creative director at Bungie from 2007 through 2012. More recently, he established V1 Interactive. That studio’s only game, Disintegration, shut down less than a year after launch.
Gustavsson commented on his departure in a statement to GameSpot (opens in new tab), stopping short of revealing what he’ll be doing next. “I’ve dedicated a substantial portion of my life to Battlefield and I’m very proud to have helped shape this franchise into what it is today,” he said. “However, I think it’s time for something new. Thank you for all your support over the years, especially to all the extremely talented co-workers I’ve had the pleasure to work with and, above all, the love and support from the community,”
EA announced that last year EA’s putting Respawn head Vince Zampella in charge of the Battlefield series.