In brief: EA's flagship FPS franchise has always been Battlefield, but it seems the publisher wants to supplement its shooter roster with something fresh. To bring this mysterious project (or projects) to life, EA has recruited former Halo creative director and franchise co-creator Marcus Lehto to head up a new, as-of-yet unnamed studio.
The studio will be built in Seattle, and it will specialize in "first-person games." That doesn't explicitly mean first-person shooters, but it's hard to think of any other reason for EA to pursue Lehto -- that is, after all, where his expertise lies. If they were trying to create a Skyrim competitor, they'd be better off recruiting talent from pools of former Bethesda or Obsidian employees.
As for Lehto's history in particular, as we noted a moment ago, he was on the Halo team when the first title, Halo: Combat Evolved, first came to life. He started as a designer and worked his way up to the top rungs of Bungie. He had a hand in making almost every Halo title released, barring 4 and 5, which were 343's work.
Hey everyone, I’m very excited to announce that I’ve joined @EA as a Game Director, building a new studio in the Seattle area working on first-person games. I can’t wait to share more about what we’re creating! pic.twitter.com/GnfVFNLSaW— Marcus Lehto (@game_fabricator) October 19, 2021
Lehto confirmed the news himself in a tweet on Wednesday. "Hey everyone, I'm very excited to announce that I've joined @EA as a Game Director, building a new studio in the Seattle area working on first-person games," he announced. "I can't wait to share more about what we're creating!"
We're sure Lehto isn't the only one that can't wait. It's been a while since EA debuted a new first-person franchise, and there are undoubtedly millions of people that will gladly take a chance on it.
Of course, we know next to nothing about the series (Lehto does mention "games") for now. If it is a shooter, will it be singleplayer or multiplayer? If it's multiplayer, will it be competitive or coop? And if it's not a shooter, what on Earth could it be? We don't know, but we're looking forward to finding out.