Frostbite is an all-important game engine technology for Electronic Arts, and soon, the publisher is getting a new executive to run it, GamesBeat has learned. Tim Leland, former vice president of product management at Qualcomm, will become a new vice president at EA, working under chief technology officer Ken Moss, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Leland previously ran product management related to the efforts that Qualcomm, the world’s biggest maker of mobile communications chips, led in gaming, graphics, visual processing, and virtual reality. Qualcomm became increasingly competitive over the years with ancillary chips that handled tasks such as graphics, augmented reality and virtual reality, cameras, and digital signal processing.
At EA, Leland will have responsibility for Frostbite, which started out as the engine for EA’s Battlefield games and has been expanded to become the engine for many of EA’s games. Frostbite has features such as real-world physics and destruction, so that buildings collapse in a realistic fashion in the Battlefield games.
“We’re very excited to welcome Tim Leland to EA as the VP and GM of Frostbite,” said Moss, in a statement. “Tim brings a deep expertise in visual rendering and product management. We’re looking forward to his leadership in advancing the work of our great teams and driving our single engine focus with Frostbite.”
We hear that Leland made the change because he wanted to be somewhere that was making interactive visual entertainment and consumer content while also investing in emerging areas like artificial intelligence and the cloud. He had spent a number of years enabling these segments in the mobile ecosystem at Qualcomm and saw this as an opportunity to apply these learnings at EA. Leland remains a big advocate for VR, and that could bode well for EA’s increasing efforts to make games for VR platforms.