EA DICE is one of the biggest triple-A video game developers and the largest video game employer in Sweden, but in the past year over 40 employees have apparently left the studio in search of greener pastures according to a new report.
In a story from Sweden's Di Digital that we've independently translated, over 40 employees have left the 400-people strong company in 2018, making that a departure of almost 10 percent of the company. The figure was gleaned from Linkedin but sources told Di Digital that 40 is on the low end of reported departures from the company.
The reason appears to be two-fold. More big gaming companies are opening shop in Sweden driving up competition for employees, but also the apparent disappointment over EA's Star Wars: Battlefront 2 was a driving factor in departures.
Epic Games and Ubisoft both recently opened video game offices in Stockholm alongside existing companies like King and Paradox. The four companies "account for most the year's recruitments from DICE," according to Di Digital.
Ubisoft's office was started just last year by ex-DICE boss Patrick Bach and 13 DICE employees reportedly left the company to join him at Ubisoft.
Another reason cited by the report for the recent departures at DICE appears to be over Battlefront 2. EA DICE's Star Wars sequel suffered a tumultuous launch over its botch microtransactions, leading to widespread anger from players and even legislative actions from various governments. Loot box have been nearly banned in countries like Belgium and the Netherlands.
"It became a debacle. For many, it was difficult to quickly redo the game," said one Di Digital source. Battlefront 2 is said to have missed sales goals since releasing major updates back in May.
The news follows the recent departure of ex-DICE CEO Patrick Söderlund from EA back in August. The news comes as EA DICE is about to release Battlfield 5, the next major installment of DICE's marquis Battlefield military FPS series.
While a reported 700 employees work at DICE in Sweden, that figure reportedly accounts for all of the many EA divisions and subdivisions employed there. The number of core DICE employees is closer to 400, making the departures more apparent in context.
We've reached out to EA and DICE for comment and will update the story as new details emerge.
It should be noted that a few DICE developers have commented on the Resetera thread about this story to head of talks that this could be due to crunch, and more to do with the growing competition within the Swedish game industry.
One software engineer in Stockhold said they've seen a recent rise in game developers moving away from games because of better benefits. Companies like Google and Spotify are the most popular employers for Swedish college gradutates.
Battlefield 5 is scheduled to come out on PC, PS4, and Xbox One on November 20. Check out our Battlefield 5 guide for news, trailers, and previews.