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Feature: 'Army of Alain - Inside EA Montreal'

In today's Gamasutra feature, we take a trip to EA Montreal (Army of Two, SSX On Tour) to speak to studio head Alain Tascan about the city's unique culture, EA's push for orig
In today's Gamasutra feature, we take a trip to EA Montreal (Army of Two, SSX On Tour) to speak to studio head Alain Tascan about the city's unique culture, EA's push for original IP, and how the studio differs from nearby Ubisoft Montreal. Tascan recently made headlines when after a Montreal International Game Summit roundtable in which he said Gears of War brought “nothing in terms of innovation to the shooter... Like, zero,” adding, “myself, I prefer something more creative." In this excerpt, he explains EA Montreal's approach to original IP, in light of those comments: "“We are around 300 people now including EA mobile upstairs, and there is space to grow,” Tascan said, adding in good humor, “We are working right now on three things: Army of Two, the new IP which better be good, otherwise people are going to kill me after my comments about Gears of War; SSX on the Wii, which is due in March; and another new IP which I’m not able to talk about.” The emphasis on new IP from EA might seem unusual, but Tascan emphasised, “EA has realized that what we need now to stay number one and keep that edge is really to focus on creating new IP. I mean, we just did Superman Returns and all the sports, but we feel that we are now ready to take big bets on new IP, and not bet the farm on the established titles. And we think this is something that people are going to react well to, because EA is not known for this. I mean, if you look at the comments of people on some of the things I’ve said and they say ‘how can you dare talk about innovation?’ And that’s what we want to prove that as a company we can do it.” You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject, with more from Tascan on Montreal's influence and EA's "big wake up" regarding employee crunch times, and how the situation is now "very drastically" different (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).

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