The true value of EA’s new Ignite Engine isn’t just in its next-gen aspirations but in that it allows for EA Sports to access the same set of features across multiple games, according to EA Sports executive vice-president Andrew Wilson.
Speaking to IGN, Wilson stated that, “We actually shared a fair bit of technology overall across our sports portfolio. However, the versions of each technology and the investment that was being made for that technology was somewhat disparate across the various franchises.
“So FIFA could build something into physics, but Madden would never get it – because they were on a different branch of that particular code base. What we did this time [with Ignite] wasn’t so much about getting a single engine – although that is what has facilitated the fundamental shift we’re about to embark on – it’s we’re all investing in a single code base.
“So when you think about the multiplier effect you’re going to get in year two or three of five or six or seven different game teams, all investing and innovating on a single code base, and all that innovation rolling back into a single branch which they all start from the following cycle – that’s the real value of Ignite.”
The model is similar to what Frostbite 3 is currently achieving for other EA games, in fact. “Now if FIFA builds something awesome it rolls back into the mainline, and Madden gets it the very next year. If Madden does something awesome it rolls back into the mainline, and NBA Live gets it the very next year. It’s not just about the shared technology; it’s about aggregate investment in innovation now across every team that feeds back in, and that is going to be accelerated for us in year two, year three, and year four.
“I believe we’re going to see some amazing things, as a result of that. I will pit my sports teams up against any other game team in the world. I think they’re unbelievably smart and bright, and deliver great innovation. And I believe Ignite is going to harness that at a greater level than we ever have before.”
The Ignite Engine will be exclusive to PS4 and Xbox One titles and will be used in games such as UFC, Madden NFL 25 and FIFA 14.