David Rutter- Line Producer, Producer, and Executive Producer across numerous recent FIFA titles- will become the Group General Manager for EA Studios Europe, and its subsidiaries.
Video Games Chronicle originally reported they “understood” Rutter would move to Sweden to oversee EA’s European studios. Their article was later updated with a statement from EA:
“David Rutter has moved to Europe and taken on the role of Group General Manager for EA Studios Europe to lead our creators at DICE Stockholm, Ghost and Criterion. For the last 12 years, David has led our FIFA franchise and EA SPORTS development teams at EA Vancouver and EA Romania to amazing success.”
Rutter will be in charge of studios including DICE, Criterion and Ghost Games. DICE (now formally known as EA DICE) has worked on the Battlefield, Mirror’s Edge, and Star Wars Battlefront II.
Criterion also aided with the latter and Battlefield V, but are best known for their Need for Speed and Burnout franchises. Need for Speed Heat is being developed by Ghost Games however, and their work currently includes a handful of other Need for Speed titles.
This transition is likely due to Rutter’s success with the FIFA franchise. Video Game Chronicles claims that “Net revenue from Ultimate Team accounted for roughly 28 per cent, 21 per cent and 16 per cent of EA’s total net revenue during its 2019, 2018 and 2017 fiscal years respectively, “a substantial portion of which was derived from FIFA Ultimate Team”.” Ultimate Team was first introduced with FIFA 09, and began to generate $800 million annually.
Despite this, FIFA Ultimate Team lootboxes have come under fire. EA removed premium currency from FIFA 18 and FIFA 19 due to Belgium’s stance against lootboxes, and declared to representatives of the UK Parliament that lootboxes were “surprise mechanics” and “quite ethical.”