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EA Digital Illusions CE AB

Overview

Started in 1988 by Ulf Mandorff, Olof Gustafsson, Fredrik Liliegren and Andreas Axelsson, EA Digital Illusions CE AB is a Swedish game development studio.

Like many Scandinavian studios, it was originally started as a demo group, The Silents. The four initial developers all came from the same town Alvesta in Sweden. During the initial days the team also operated out of a dorm room at Växjö University. Initially, the company was well known for its Amiga and DOS pinball games, such as Pinball Dreams (1992) and Pinball Illusions (1995). The company was officially formed as Digital Illusions HB in May 1992 and became Digital Illusions CE AB in January 1993. The company moved to Gothenburg in 1994 and remained there until 2005.

A big expansion occurred in early 2000 when the company fully acquired Refraction Games AB and a large majority of Synergenix Interactive AB, though the latter was bought by Red Jade Inc. in the same year. Also in 2000 subsidiary DICE Simulations AB was started to work on interactive simulations. It was liquidated in 2010.

In 2001 DICE made its presence in North America through the acquisition of the assets of the Canadian development studio Sandbox Studios. It was renamed Digital Illusions Canada, Inc.

The company's breakthrough occurred at the end of 2002 with the release of warfare shooter Battlefield 1942, the first game in a long-running series of Battlefield games. In March 2003 Electronic Arts, which published the first game, became the studio's biggest owner with 19 percent of the stocks. The team to work on the franchise was strengthened with the acquisition of Trauma Studios in September 2004, a studio that became known through the popular Desert Combat mod for BF1942. The Trauma studio was then dubbed DICE New York. After doing work on Battlefield 2 (2005), the Swedish studio wanted the US team to move to Sweden to help work on Battlefield 2142 (2006), but Trauma decided against relocation and was discontinued in June 2005. Most of that team moved on as Kaos Studios working for THQ.

In November 2004 Electronic Arts announced its intent to buy all outstanding shares of the company. The offer was accepted and on March 31, 2005 EA owned 62% of the company. The acquisition was completed on October 2, 2006 and the studio was renamed EA Digital Illusions CE AB.

For most of the titles, the company used two generations of the Refractor engine, originally by Refraction Games AB. In June 2008, with the release of Battlefield: Bad Company, an entirely new in-house developed engine was introduced: Frostbite DX.

After having worked almost exclusively on the Battlefield warfare franchise between 2002 and 2008, an entirely new game was introduced in November 2008, the parkour action game Mirror's Edge, based on completely new IP.

Also Known As

  • Digital Illusions CE AB (from Jan, 1993 to Oct 06, 2006)


Trivia

Company information in 2004:

Digital Illusions CE AB (DICE)
Maria Skolgata 83, 118 53 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 658 78 00
Fax: +46 8 658 78 99
CEO: Patrick Söderlund, tel. +46 8 658 78 01
Marketing Contact: Jenny Huldschiner, tel.+46 8 658 78 03, +46 73 420 98 00

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