EA executive Patrick Söderlund has shockingly decided to leave the studio after many years of service.
“Today we are announcing that Patrick Söderlund has made the decision to move on from EA,” reads a statement on the EA website. “After nearly two decades as a pioneer for our company and industry, he will begin a new chapter later this year.”
The statement goes on to describe Söderlund as a “trusted business partner” and “great friend” whose “inspiring leadership has had an outstanding impact on EA.” He is credited for his role in the creation of the Frostbite engine, for “being a champion for Players First experiences,” and for ensuring EA “put(s) creative at the center of everything we do.”
Prior to his recent departure, Söderlund held the title of Chief Design Officer of EA. Before that, he was probably best known as the CEO of DICE (now known as EA DICE). He was, by many accounts, a driving force behind EA’s creative decisions and ventures. He is also a man who, according to information dug up by Kotaku, recently made $48.3 million. $20 million of that came from a bonus that EA says was issued in an attempt to “support the longer-term retention of Mr. Söderlund, given that his creative successes, executive experience and high profile in the industry make him a highly desirable candidate for executive positions at other companies.”
So did Söderlund really take the piles of money and run? While nobody except a few key people at EA, Söderlund obviously being one of them, probably know the full story of his decision to leave the company, an outsider would certainly be quick to conclude that he might have ultimately decided that working on other projects was more important than the money EA could give him. There’s also some debate regarding how much of that money Söderlund gets to keep.
However, Söderlund’s motivations will likely remain mysterious for the time being. It’s also not clear what he intends to do next.
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