Electronic Arts hired former Monolith Productions vice president Kevin Stephens to lead its new studio in Seattle. The division, soon to be led by the man who previously supervised the creation of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War, doesn't have a name yet, but according to EA's plans is to focus on creating open-world action adventure games. This was acknowledged by Laura Miele, chief studio officer at Electronic Arts, assuring that Stephens' experience, talent and leadership skills will be invaluable in forming the new team.
"Kevin is an exceptionally talented game developer leader and we look forward to supporting him while he builds his team. As someone known for his open world action-adventure games, we know players will be eagerly awaiting more details on this new studio and its projects." (via GamesIndustry.biz).
The genre of games that Miele mentions seems extremely important to EA. Samantha Ryan, who was president of the aforementioned Monolith Productions in the 1990s and worked with Stephens, noted that fans of these types of games tend to be very engaged and passionate. Now a senior vice president and general manager at Electronic Arts, she also pointed to successful and well-received productions like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, indicating the direction that the Seattle studio's first project is likely to take.
At the moment we don't know how big games Kevin Stephens and his future team will make or even if they'll start working on a new brand or maybe take on an existing IP. Ryan promised that the head of the Seattle studio has her full confidence and will get as much time as he needs to start work. We are expected to receive more information in the second half of this year.