EA’s work on the Star Wars series has taken yet another creative hit as Motive Studios founder Jade Raymond has left the company.
“Jade Raymond has decided to leave Electronic Arts,” reads a statement from EA. “In her time with us, Jade helped to build great teams, and our projects underway at Motive and other studios continue unchanged. We’re appreciative of all of her efforts, and we wish Jade all the best as she moves on to her next adventure.”
In that same statement, EA reveals that Samantha Ryan (the Senior Vice President of EA’s mobile division, Maxis, and BioWare) will take over Raymond’s role as head of Motive Studios. Ryan previously participated in the development of games like No One Lives Forever, F.E.A.R., and Batman: Arkham City.
If the names Jade Raymond and Motive Studios are all ringing a few bells in your head, there are good reasons why. During Raymond’s time with Ubisoft, she was a leading figure in the creation of the Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs franchises. In 2015, she announced that she had decided to join EA and would serve as the studio head of Motive as well as one of the leads of Visceral Games. Sadly, the only game that Raymond helped bring to life as part of Motive was the campaign portion of Battlefront II. Visceral’s Star Wars game was infamously canceled when the studio was shut down, and Motive was the studio tasked with reimagining that Star Wars project.
The wording of the statement seems to suggest that Raymond decided to leave EA. However, the somewhat aggressive touting of Samantha Ryan at the start of the statement almost gives the impression that Raymond’s departure may have partially been based on EA’s preferences. It’s also possible that her decision to leave was in discussions for quite some time.
We’d be lying if we told you that Battlefront II‘s campaign was the single-player Star Wars experience we’ve been dreaming of, but it was at least a narrative-based Star Wars experience. Add to that the fact that Raymond was also heavily involved with Visceral’s single-player Star Wars experience, and we kind of get the feeling that EA’s pushing a creative direction for the property that the studio’s actual creators may not be on-board with.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.
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