EA has been doing some shuffling lately, what with their 1500-employee layoff and purchase of Playfish, and along with this comes a new focus for EA Montreal.
According to a recent Edge interview , EA Montreal General Manager Alain Tascan has said the team will shift its focus to "action titles and HD-quality products," rather than sticking with simpler and more casual projects for the Wii (they've produced the likes of Boogie Superstar and Skate It ). As we've all seen, 2009 has really been the year when the PS3 and 360 have pushed forward and the Wii has fallen back; said Tascan:
"The Wii market is a little bit unpredictable these days. We’re going to see how Christmas is going to do and while with the Wii we have had very successful titles, we are going to focus on big, blockbuster-type titles. It doesn't mean that we are going to abandon the Wii, but as a studio we want to be ready for new challenges."
Leading the charge will be January's Army of Two: The 40th Day , which really appears to be a significant step up after the merely average original title. We've also heard that The Saboteur – from the now-defunct Pandemic Studios – has landed in EA Montreal's lap, so that could be another step in the right direction. Tascan says they're "just trying to adapt to the reality of today" and that if you fail to adapt…well, bad things can happen. For my part, I've been wondering all year how many third-party developers are going to move their focus away from the faltering Wii. I seriously doubt EA Montreal will be the last.