I bet you know who Patrick Söderlund is, right? If you don’t, he’s the guy who based his business practices on his teenage daughter who plays Fortnite. He’s also the guy who told frustrated Battlefield fans regarding Battlefield V’s historical revisionism that if they “don’t like it, don’t buy it,” and he’s also the guy who labeled displeased BF fans “uneducated” for not respecting EA and DICE’s wacky revision of WW2. Well, unsurprisingly, he is now a CEO of a new game company named Embark Studios.
If, however, you are seeking to find a more in-depth explanation of Söderlund’s controversial statements made during the mid part of this year (2018), then you’re in luck. Söderlund took up an interview with Gamasutra on June 11th, which depicts him angered over the massive backlash that Battlefield V received (that’s still going on to this day) for its SJW fantasy take. Söderlund explained that adding more women to the game was something the team pushed for as noted below:
“On the [women] in Battlefield, this is something that the development team pushed.”
“Battlefield V is a lot about the unseen, the untold, the unplayed,” he continued. “The common perception is that there were no women in World War II. There were a ton of women who both fought in World War II and partook in the war.”
Söderlund would also bring his 13-year-old daughter into the whole fiasco whilst taking cues from her to implement into an “M” rated game:
“We felt like in today’s world—I have a 13-year-old daughter that when the trailer came out and she saw all the flak, she asked me, ‘Dad, why’s this happening?’”
“She plays Fortnite, and says, ‘I can be a girl in Fortnite. Why are people so upset about this?’ She looked at me and she couldn’t understand it. And I’m like, ok, as a parent, how the hell am I gonna respond to this, and I just said, ‘You know what? You’re right. This is not okay.’”
Later, Söderlund would also address critics of Battlefield V or people pointing out obscene stuff featured in the reveal trailer calling them “uneducated” and wouldn’t mind if they didn’t buy the now failing game:
“These are people who are uneducated—they don’t understand that this is a plausible scenario, and listen: this is a game. And today gaming is gender-diverse, like it hasn’t been before. There are a lot of female people who want to play, and male players who want to play as a badass [woman].”
“And we don’t take any flak. We stand up for the cause, because I think those people who don’t understand it, well, you have two choices: either accept it or don’t buy the game. I’m fine with either or. It’s just not ok.”
After those ridiculous remarks made by the once Chief Design Officier (or CFO), he, Söderlund, was reported to no longer be apart of EA on August 14th. EA’s CEO, Andrew Wilson, took to a blog post on ea.com/news to explain Söderlund’s adventure to “embark” on a new journey.
Speaking of the word “embark,” Söderlund magically landed a spot as the CEO of a new game company named “Embark Studios.” We can see this on Söderlund’s LinkedIn account:
This Embark Studios aims to assemble a team holding a “variety of experience and viewpoints.”
Embark Studios was revealed at an earnings call for Nexon in Tokyo, where said company will serve as both “a publisher and investor” for the new studio. The project the team is working on sounds like a mobile game or MMO given the studio will make use of “emerging technologies to build new kinds of online interactive experiences.” The press release announcing Embark Studios notes stuff like “connected players, big data, speech recognition, cloud computing, and advanced AI.”
Right now, Johan Andersson, a former worker on EA’s SEED, expects to have between 15 through 20 people join Embark Studios, with an eventual count of 200 plus devs.
According to the official website, embark-studios.com, we learn that the studio is working on multiple games as we speak:
“Partnered with Nexon, we are a startup unlike most. We are working on several game projects and our technical platform, and we are building our core team now.”
Lastly, Söderlund noted:
“Super excited to be working with some incredible people to try and do something different, something that I hope longterm will make a mark in our industry. I think you’ll see things from us quicker than you’d expect.”
I’m pretty sure we’ll be hearing about Embark Studios’ projects mid-2019 and seeing something from the team late 2019 or early 2020. Anyway, I’ll leave you with this image of the dev team “at work.”