Electronic Arts Inc., EA +3.08% fresh off announcing it cut 10% of its workforce to trim costs, is investing in a new Los Angeles studio for its Stockholm-based DICE game developer with the goal of poaching talent from rivals like Activision Blizzard Inc. ATVI +3.13%
The DICE unit, purchased by EA in the middle of the last decade, will be a key cog in the creation of a new series of Star Wars videogames. Walt Disney Co. DIS +0.22% announced last week that it enlisted EA to make Star Wars games weeks after closing its LucasArts games division.
As DICE begins the initial phases of sketching out ideas for a new Star Wars game, it is in the process of opening a Los Angeles office this month to help with recruiting talent, General Manager Karl-Magnus Troedsson said in an interview at the Stockholm office.
"There is an extreme talent pool over that we want a part of," he said. "It's no secret that our main competitor is there," referring to Activision's Infinity Ward and Treyarch operations, which use Southern California studios to work on the popular Call of Duty game that outsells Battlefield.
While not divulging specific numbers, Mr. Troedsson said the DICE studio represents a significant investment with plans to add 60 staffers by the end of 2013. He said the firm is looking to add the best talent in the business for the venture, and that DICE needs to expand its wings following the success of the Battlefield franchise.
The article in WSJ is subscriber only, but if you google the title you can read the whole thing.