Over the course of such a legendary career as Vince Zampella, we have to keep in mind that external factors are always going on behind-the-scenes which cannot and will never be spoken about directly out loud. This is due to a variety of reasons, among them being contractual obligations, saving face, or even legality in some cases. His name has made the headlines more than once in the gaming industry, and always for the same reason – this is a highly sought after individual with Activision and EA Games fighting over the talent acquisition numerous times over the past few decades!
Recent news has seen Vince go from the co-founder of Respawn Entertainment (Titanfall, Titanfall 2, Apex Legends, Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order, Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond) to also head of DICE LA which will receive a new name and re-branding soon. Looking closer, it’s clear Vince is also the calling shots at overhauling EA now – and we are expecting to see the success level of the company improve drastically over the next two years.
After being in the industry since the days of Panasonic and SEGA, this entrepreneur has added value to every firm he has joined. It would have been easy to just leave EA Games when things weren’t going well for them (entire 2019) but instead this figurehead was able to course-correct the ship with a Star Wars game that had no micro-transactions, some say in part by creating (and sacrificing) Apex Legends to profit-hungry executives who only care about obscene monetization schemes like Modern Warfare’s ‘Blueprints’. The game is known as being the best ‘free-to-play’ game of 2019, but features heavy cosmetic micro-transactions post-launch.
This history of living in conflict with his superiors in regards to executive decisions which can impact game quality has led to its crescendo as we see Vince Zampella losing those restrictions, finally being trusted by those in power. Full control of the development process has made it possible for this creator to bring us Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, Titanfall, and Apex Legends – high quality franchises with staying power and Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order a game that fans demanded, anticipated, and praised when finally released.
We are seeing major changes that have been a long time coming with EA Games. The creative visionaries at their disposal will have an increased level of input under this leader as few new projects are emerging from New IP as well as the Battlefield series which is in dire need of a refresh or even a different approach. This is all in addition to Medal of Honor Above and Beyond coming to Oculus from Respawn Entertainment. But the first project we will see from DICE LA (when it gets renamed) will be an original game, so look forward to that! Will it be the next COD?
Profitability will likely be increasing as artists and programmers alike will be invigorated by this corporate shake-up meaning content output and quality are about to multiply at all of EA’s many studios. Monetization will be more generous but also generate more sales without the need to rely on ‘whales’ who over-spend ridiculous amounts on petty cosmetic items / utility and “convenience”.
This moment should mark a shift back to the expansion business model in which games are sold full at launch and some months later developers begin to make large new content updates that drastically change the game and are sold at a greater price than most DLC / micro-transactions which most people have learned to ignore by now. Of course, this is EA we are talking about – so time will tell if they are able to surrender control long enough for one of the industry’s greatest legends to repair the damage they’ve done in consumer good will over the past two years.