Ignite Engine lets EA Sports ‘invest and innovate’ on a single code base

Monday, 26 August 2013 02:57 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The real value of Ignite Engine isn’t its next-gen grunt but the fact that all of EA Sports’ development teams are working on it together.

“We actually shared a fair bit of technology overall across our sports portfolio. However, the versions of each technology and the investment that was being made for that technology was somewhat disparate across the various franchises.

EA Sports executive vice-president Andrew Wilson told IGN that development staff had always shared technology between projects, but that not everything was brought across.

“So FIFA could build something into physics, but Madden would never get it – because they were on a different branch of that particular code base,” he said.

“What we did this time [with Ignite] wasn’t so much about getting a single engine – although that is what has facilitated the fundamental shift we’re about to embark on – it’s we’re all investing in a single code base. So when you think about the multiplier effect you’re going to get in year two or three of five or six or seven different game teams, all investing and innovating on a single code base, and all that innovation rolling back into a single branch which they all start from the following cycle – that’s the real value of Ignite.”

Wilson compared Ignite to Frostbite, which uses the same model.

“Now if FIFA builds something awesome it rolls back into the mainline, and Madden gets it the very next year. If Madden does something awesome it rolls back into the mainline, and NBA Live gets it the very next year. It’s not just about the shared technology; it’s about aggregate investment in innovation now across every team that feeds back in, and that is going to be accelerated for us in year two, year three, and year four.

“I believe we’re going to see some amazing things, as a result of that. I will pit my sports teams up against any other game team in the world. I think they’re unbelievably smart and bright, and deliver great innovation. And I believe Ignite is going to harness that at a greater level than we ever have before,” Wilson concluded.

Ignite is being used in FIFA 14, EA Sports UFC, Madden NFL 25 and NBA Live.