In likely the largest gaming industry surprise of the holidays, Vince Zampella, CEO of Respawn Entertainment (Titanfall, Jedi Fallen Order) will be taking over as the Head of DICE’s Los Angeles Studio. The studio will eventually drop the DICE name and even more impressive is the fact that they reportedly already have a new I.P. in the works as well.
The news was originally broken by the L.A. Times and said the following:
“We will probably rebrand,” Zampella says. “We want to give it a new image. We want people to say, ‘This is a destination you can go and make new content.’ I think they’ve kind of gotten the branding that they are the support studio for DICE Stockholm. I think rebranding is important for showing people, ‘Hey! Come work here. We’re going to do some amazing things.’”
The studio, he stresses, will be “separate from DICE Stockholm and separate from Respawn.”
Says Zampella, “We do talk a lot, and the more we interact and learn from and teach each other, the better we’ll be. So there’s interaction, but as far as the games, they’re their own studio.”
So what does this mean for Respawn Entertainment which has an incredible year in 2019 with the launch of Apex Legends and Jedi Fallen Order? Zampella commented:
“Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” leader Asmussen will continue to direct a narrative-driven branch at Respawn. The ongoing “Apex Legends” is overseen by Chad Grenier, who followed Zampella from Infinity Ward to Respawn to work on what would become the first-person-shooter series “Titanfall.” The virtual reality “Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond” is being spearheaded by Peter Hirschmann, whose “Medal of Honor” experience stretches back to the game’s early days when it was developed by DreamWorks Interactive.
“There might be more,” says Zampella, narrowing his eyes somewhat cryptically (the company even declines to say how many staffers it currently employs), but he adds, “I think my role is the same.”
This is unexpected but likely welcome. Zampella has produced gold on nearly every project he’s worked on which Respawn’s 2019 only serving as more proof of their talented leadership. We know that DICE has development talent and with the right leadership, we could certainly see something tremendous out of a new IP there. Color us excited.