EA forms internal team to study 'out there' technologies

Frostbite Labs will focus on long-term projects that utilize cutting-edge tech such as virtual humans and deep learning.

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In addition to the likelihood that future Star Wars Battlefront games will include campaigns, EA's Investor Day revealed that the company has formed a new team devoted to exploring future technologies, per a report from GameSpot.

Areas of interest include virtual humans, deep learning, and virtual and augmented reality, the latter already making inroads with consumers.

The team, dubbed Frostbite Labs, occupies two offices: one in Vancouver and another in Stockholm. Between them, Frostbite Labs is composed of 30 to 40 employees dedicated to "longer-term" projects that EA Studios vice president Patrick Soderlund described as "out there," but that could make a huge impact on EA and leave an indelible mark on video games.

One area of study, for instance, is deep learning, and greater knowledge in that space could change the way developers build levels. For instance, EA's Frostbite Engine could ask a developer for basic, info, such as a season, and automatically generate a basic map built around that concept.

Soderlund stressed that tech will never get to the point where entire worlds are built with a few words and shipped out within a few months, "but if we can get a base set of levels created that the artists and levels can then go in and alter, imagine just much time we've won and how much more time we can spend on iterating on the game instead of actually making the game. In a sense, it should drive economy of scale and should also drive a better product.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at davidlcraddock.com and @davidlcraddock.

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