Electronic Arts has suddenly rebranded the Frostbite engine by presenting a new identity and vision for its proprietary tech. The company is betting big on collaborative efforts, while no longer restricting developers from using third-party solutions.
In a blog post on December 18, Electronic Arts said that the Frostbite rebranding is not a visual, but also a “philosophical” shift for the engine. The signature handprint on the logo will remain, representing the human touch of every person involved in creating games at the company, but it will no longer be fractured — to highlight the collaborative nature of the production process.
According to EA, this also shows Frostbite’s evolution into a “platform for collaborative innovation.”
The company noted that it will continue to invest in building proprietary tools and technology for its games, while also adapting to the needs of every team that uses the engine.
“We can bend this engine to our will and make it do the things we need it to do,” Frostbite general manager Tim Cowan told GamesIndustry.biz. “We fundamentally feel like we get a ton of value out of that aspect of an internal engine. We can direct it and take it where we need to take it for our games, and we can move fast and quickly without any boundaries on that front.”
As part of the new strategy, EA studios are now “free to develop on any engine they choose,” meaning that they can use third-party solutions like Unreal Engine, Unity, etc.
This is a major shift in the company’s approach, considering that it at one point EA forced its internal teams to make games with Frostbite. This resulted in many production-related issues because the DICE-created engine was originally intended for shooters and didn’t meet the needs of studios making games in other genres.
For example, BioWare has been struggling to adapt to Frostbite for a long time, especially during the development of Dragon Age: Inquisition. The studio eventually abandoned DICE’s engine, as the next Mass Effect title is reportedly being made with Unreal Engine.
Speaking with GI.biz, Cowan acknowledged the issue, saying that Electronic Arts now understands that “games are unique, they have unique cases, so let’s let [developers] have the power to make the choice for what’s best for them.”
Frostbite is still the main part of the company’s pipeline. In 2023, it launched six titles made with the engine, including EA Sports FC 24 and the Dead Space remake. The difference is that EA no longer uses its “one engine” strategy, giving its teams more creative freedom in terms of tools they need.