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Bond "constrained" Dead Space team

Gibeau: creative freedom drives quality.

EA Games president Frank Gibeau reckons that losing the James Bond licence brought out the best in Visceral Games, formerly EA Redwood Shores.

"You know, the Dead Space team created a very highly rated, critically acclaimed game last year that we're going to succeed and continue to grow as a franchise. That was the team that was working on the Bond games, you know. They were constrained by that licence," Gibeau told Gamasutra.

"Kind of when we said, 'Alright, we're moving off of that business. We're gonna give the licence back. We don't want to be in this business anymore. You guys get to go create an IP. Let's see what you can do.'"

EA 'lost' the Bond licence to Activision back in 2006, at which point it was seen as a bit of a blow - although it's fair to say Activision hasn't made the most of it.

Back to the present day though, and Gibeau said he and others were "blown away" by the quality of Dead Space - which told the story of a man on a spaceship full of aliens carving them up with an arc welder - and that "turning teams loose" like that had reinvigorated more than a few.

EA has taken plenty of other steps to try and address the quality deficit in some of its line-up, according to Gibeau. One example is injecting a few more months of "polish time" into the schedule at the end of development.

"So, the game is actually functionally complete, content complete, then we go in and put it through massive amounts of tests, massive amounts of re-playthroughs, so that we can really get those five, 10, 15 points of Metacritic that you get at the end of the project." That's also the case for games like Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age: Origins and Need for Speed: Shift, he said.

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Tom Bramwell avatar

Tom Bramwell


Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.