Why EA And DICE Had To Make Mirror's Edge 2

There's the obvious reason of course — fans of the first game really, really wanted a sequel — but in an interview with Games Industry International, DICE GM Karl Magnus Troedsson explained some of the reasoning behind creating a sequel to Mirror's Edge, and game that, to an extent, was a bit of a commercial failure.

"We take a look at it from a gamer perspective," he explained. "Is this something we want to play ourselves? Do we believe in it? What does the heart say? What does the gut say? And then we take the business approach and look at it with the mind as well.

"But somewhere between the heart decision and the brain decision, you just need to make up your mind. Mirror's Edge is definitely one of those products. We're so passionate about this product; it's a game that needs to be built, basically. Is there an element of a leap of faith here, no pun intended? Yes, there probably is, as there is with all games as they're being built. You don't know if they're going to be a smash hit from the beginning. But do we feel like we're swimming out into an unknown ocean? Absolutely not."

I'm curious to see how Mirror's Edge goes. It's one of those games with a massive cult following in forums and Kotaku and the like, but is that audience big enough to justify the costs of a large scale AAA production? Will it end up being a vanity project? I suspect the game will be a success on a far grander scale than its predecessor, mostly through word of mouth, and perhaps through marketing lessons learned in the failure of the first game. Regardless, as a fan, I'm glad the game is being made. I think too many people have the nostalgia blinkers on with the first Mirror's Edge. It was far from a perfect game but it was unique and it was beautiful. It harks back to a time when EA was a little riskier with it's big projects. As a fan, I hope it's successful.

EA DICE: "You could market research any product to death" [Games Industry International]


    Why EA And DICE Had To Make Mirror's Edge 2

    So wait.... why did they have to make it?

      "We’re so passionate about this product; it’s a game that needs to be built, basically."

        It's EA, they saw a potential cash grab.

          But it's not. From EA's perspective Mirror's Edge is a waste of DICE's time. If they were passing it off to some relatively obscure studio that'd be one thing but DICE are one of EA's most valuable resources. From EA's point of view they're losing money here. They're taking star players who could be working on a more reliably profitable project and throwing them on something that may or may not cover it's own development costs.
          I absolutely loved Mirror's Edge but there are hundreds of better titles EA can put on a box if they just want to squeeze some cash out of something. It has a bit of a following but the name isn't valuable and it's too recent to get on the 'I've heard the name before so it must be worth checking out' train.
          I think if anything EA see it as throwing some money down the drain to keep DICE happy and refine the engine a little.

            Na, I think they put DICE onto it because, as you say, Mirrors Edge isn't worth their time (I loved the game BTW), so they want DICE to make it 'better'. IE, better for cash grabs. And so, giving the game to any other studio wouldn't be worth their effort because it would stay the same/ similar, but DICE made the BF cash cow etc.

            See it as you want, but as I say, if they wanted to make another Mirrors Edge, they wouldn't have given it to their 'games go here when we want to milk them' studio. Battlefield, Battlefront, Mirrors edge: All games with potential that have a built in market that EA want to succeed to proceed with cash grabs.

            Edit, as you say, DICE are EA's most valuable resource, why is that? Because EA make DICE 'adjust' games to suit EA's new business model (A shame). And further more, what do EA put them on year after year: Money grab missions.

            Mirrors Edge is looking to be just another one of them. So in fact, I would say, if it was just a random studio, then it wouldn't look like an obvious cash grab. But EA pushing it onto DICE... I don't think EA know to stop before killing their goose that laid a golden egg.

            Last edited 15/07/14 3:19 pm

              As I understood it the original Mirror's Edge was something DICE wanted to make for a long time but had trouble convincing EA to let them. Oddly enough part of the reason DICE pushed for the original Mirror's Edge is that they didn't want to be just 'the Battlefield guys'. It's a bit hard to say it's being shoved off onto them when they want to make it so badly.

              Also I've got to confess I've been hoping for DICE to make a Battlefront game since long before that was a possibility. I mean Battlefront is just newbie friendly Battlefield with Star Wars splattered on top. They may still fail on the execution, it's got to live up to a game that's viewed almost entirely through rose tinted glasses, but I think the only people who are going to take the engine as far as it needs to go to even have a shot at success are DICE.

                While Dice were once great, as long as Ea have them by the balls I won't be expecting much.

        Super weird logic, I get it but it's like saying:

        "I HAVE to go to the pistol range this weekend"
        "Oh really, why"
        "It just needs to happen"............

        Don't get me wrong, I'm excited. I just thought there'd be an actual reason why it was happening.

      "We’re so passionate about this product; it’s a game that needs to be built, basically"

      because... they wanted to?

      We’re so passionate about this product; it’s a game that needs to be built, basically.

      Because it's an IP they own and haven't run into the ground yet.

    ohh cool another EA game i wont be buying... awesome

      Haha, hating EA for some reason. Don't cut yourself on that edge now, son!

        thats cool :) Enjoy your product that wont work on Day 1, will force you to log in, will require you to use origin, will need 1000 patches. i mean i could go on but id rather just avoid it i have been burned by EA enough.

      Sadly I agree. EA doesn't strike me as a publisher that can competently publish games anymore, there is just too strong a culture of preorder hammering, dlc, microtransactions, beta shipping, and the reduction of mechanics for the lowest common.
      I don't doubt Mirror's Edge 2 will be an economically viable game that draws a crowd, from a publisher that I can't support.

      I have to agree. My faith in EA has disappeared after BF4, and the PR mess around it, and the likes.

      Will I buy this game: Maybe, but no where near launch window that's for sure.

        I feel as if Sim City was the bigger debacle and the Sims 4 is going to be a bigger one than that... Don't care though, it's video games, not politics - i'll be buying that video game i like... Because it's games, not politics.

        Was that pun intended? It's quite good

          What pun o.o

          Lol, I guess not.

            Haha awesome :P Faith is the name of the main character!

              OF COURSE! I can't believe I didn't see it lol.

    Extremely happy that DICE [EA] are making ME2.

    Absolutely love [note the tense!] the first one. Certainly not wearing nostalgia blinkers either, I would argue that the game has 'aged' very well. Finished another play through just last month and loved it just as much as the first time.

    Yep, it's not perfect by a long shot, but it did enough things well [and differently] that it's still fantastic.

    "We innovated too early, gamers weren't ready for our genius! Now we think they are ready because there's prototype VR tech out there."

    I think too many people have the nostalgia blinkers on with the first Mirror’s Edge. It was far from a perfect game but it was unique and it was beautiful.

    I'm one of those people who loved the first game, but I certainly wouldn't say that I (and the other people who love it) have the nostalgia blinkers on. I certainly acknowledge there were large parts of the game that just didn't work too well (e.g. any time you needed to use a gun, a few occasions where the platforming got a bit slow and fiddly). The nostalgia comes more from the fact that, those areas aside, when the game worked it was GLORIOUS. Those times when you were just running flat out, navigating your way over / under / around obstacles at full pace, the quick disarm and KO of an enemy then moving on with barely a dip in your momentum... it was sublime.

    Hopefully the new sequel will give us more of that and have the courage to ditch the shooting altogether - I got the impression that DICE (or, more likely, EA) just couldn't bring themselves to take the risk of creating a first person game that didn't have a gun floating there at the bottom of the screen.

      One of the examples I quote of an achievements improving a game. I played it through first time for the no guns achievement and felt that I experienced it the way it was meant to be played. Then going for the par times achievements in each level gave you an appreciation of how well the flow was designed. Although going for the times in the later levels? Forget that for a joke.

    Mirrors Edge came from a time when EA seemed to be a completely different company, where along side their usual franchise releases, they actually encouraged new IPs and took risks on big crazy ideas. Out of this time we got games like Mirrors Edge, Dead Space, Skate, Mass Effect & Burnout Paradise, plus they also picked up some of the games that Activision had actually thrown away, like Brutal Legend and Rock Band.

    Good times they were.

      No, you remember it wrong. It was all about the money hat$!

      (though I agree - that was probably my favourite period of the last generation)

      Although Mass Effect was actually made by Bioware and published by Microsoft. EA picked up the rights to the series when they bought Bioware - by that point it was already a big success so they weren't exactly taking a risk there.

      They go through phases like that. They'll burst out some good stuff now and then but their entire ecosystem doesn't normally let it last. Sometimes, like with BioWare, it's impossible to ignore the value of the studio being left relatively untouched, but usually if something is going well it gets too much attention. Dead Space is a good example. It came at a time when they were doing some genuinely good work. You can call it a Resident Evil knock-off but it really was it's own game and there were risks involved. However after it's success everyone sunk their claws into it.
      One could suggest they do these little projects for image control and it's probably a factor, but I think it stems from EA's willingness to invest in experimentation. We only really notice it when they slap some weird blood sucking micro-transactions into a game that shouldn't have them, but EA apply the same principal to other fronts. Dead Space and Dead Space 3 were both testing the waters. One was seeing if they could make the typically Japanese dominated survival horror genre appealing to a more western audience while the other was seeing how a rather dedicated fanbase would respond to hard pushing of in-game purchases on a retail priced game.
      Similarly skate was worth the investment whether it worked or not. Exploiting the opening created by the growing disinterest in the Tony Hawk series was a no-brainer for EA Sports. It was a roll of the dice but EA Sports make a lot of money locking these things down.

      Although in this specific case I think Mirror's Edge 2 is their way of keeping key DICE employees around after Battlefield 4. I mean nobody walked away from that launch feeling good and there's a good chance the people on the floor at DICE are blaming specific cases of EA interference. If Mirror's Edge 2 loses a few million but leaves the key talent at DICE feeling satisfied with their jobs it'd be worth it. That sense of satisfaction also seeps through into the community a little.

    You forgot to mention that the soundtrack is brilliant.

      And all of the confusion around the theme song being called "Still Alive" was glorious!

      Last edited 15/07/14 12:37 pm

      It's brilliant because it's Solar Fields :)

    but is that audience big enough to justify the costs of a large scale AAA production? How about no? Why can't they spend less money, aim for a smaller profit, make simply a solid game, target the original audience and grab anyone else that wants to come along for the ride? There's no building of a product and a fan base any more. Everything has to come flying out of the gates, and if it trips even slightly it's put out to pasture.

    Everything I'm asking is rhetorical, by the way. I know the answers. I'm just expressing a wish from an idealistic world which doesn't exist.

    I thought they were making a 2nd Mirrors Edge because the aren't satisfied with the fans of the 1st having a positive view on the franchise.

    Mirrors edge has made it money back from Steam sales. hardly a commercial failure.

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