Vince Zampella, head of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Apex Legends developer Respawn Entertainment, is taking on a new role leading DICE LA. Respawn and DICE LA are both owned by Electronic Arts, which purchased Respawn in 2017. Respawn itself was formed in 2014 by Zampella and fellow Infinity Ward executive Jason West.

It’s not surprising that EA wants to expand Zampella’s role considering what a great year 2019 was for Respawn. In the last year alone, the studio released the surprise hit Apex Legends seemingly out of nowhere and followed it up near the end of the year with Jedi: Fallen Order, which is being hailed as the best Star Wars game in years. Before that, the studio was best known for its Titanfall series. Titanfall 2, in particular, is widely held up as one of the best single-player FPS games ever, despite selling poorly when it launched between Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare in 2016.

Zampella spoke about his new position with DICE LA in an interview with The LA Times. According to Zampella, it won’t be known as DICE LA for much longer, as he thinks it’s important to rebrand to show that the studio is doing different things now. He says that the studio, whatever it’s called, will remain separate from DICE’s main studio in Stockholm and from Respawn. It’s not an entirely clean break for Zampella, though, who says that his new studio and EA’s other development teams do talk to and learn from each other. As The LA Times puts it, Zampella will act as a “head coach” for Respawn, which already appears to have plans for a Jedi: Fallen Order sequel.

As part of Zampella’s new role, the former DICE LA studio will begin working on a new, unannounced game. EA’s chief studios officer Laura Miele, who’s overseeing the transition, says that Zampella will help build up the team at the studio and find a new creative direction.

Zampella’s experience working on everything from multiplayer shooters to story-based third-person action games makes it hard to predict exactly what type of game the new studio might come up with, but also sets a high bar for whatever it is. It’s also unclear how the move will affect Respawn, which is still updating Apex Legends and as recently as 2019 was planning a new Titanfall project. Whatever comes of the move, it’s clear that EA’s new studio will be in very capable hands.

“I think we’re going to have a really strong studio out of our Los Angeles location. They can go from a support team to a full stand-alone studio to create a new game offering.”

Next: Jedi Fallen Order 2 In Development According to Respawn Job Listings

Source: The LA Times