DICE is a Swedish-based development company, founded in 1988. In the early years of the company, DICE developed pinball games for the Amiga home computer and multiple racing games. DICE is probably most well known for their Battlefield franchise - Battlefield 1942 being the first game in the franchise.
DICE got its start in 1988 as a demo group, The Silents, in the dorm rooms at Växjö University. Its four founding members were Andreas Axelsson, Olof Gustafsson, Ulf Mandorff and Fredrik Liliegren. The company was first registered under the name Digital Illusions HB in May of 1992, which was subsequently changed to its present name Digital Illusions CE AB in Jan. 1993. While still students at the university, they developed popular pinball games for the Amiga: Pinball Dreams, Pinball Fantasies and Pinball Illusions.
In 1994, the company expanded sufficiently to warrant opening a new headquarters in Gothenburg. During its early years, DICE produced racing games like S40 Racing & Motorhead. Then in 1999, they delved into the military shooter genre with Codename Eagle, a game which is often seen as a predecessor to Battlefield series. In 1998, they became a listed company on the Stockholm stock exchange.
In Jan. 2000, they acquired 100% stake in Refraction Games and eventually moved into their previous office in 2005. They also acquired Sandbox Studios in April 2001 and rebranded it to Digital Illusions Canada Inc.
In Sep. 2002, Battlefield 1942 was released to commercial & critical success and the game was widely praised for its large scale battles. It cemented DICE's stature, and also led to the highly successful Battlefield franchise.
In 2004, DICE also bought Trauma Studios, the developers behind the popular Desert Storm mod for Battlefield 1942. The studio was renamed DICE New York, and helped in the development of Battlefield 2. The team was offered a move to Stockholm to work on Battlefield 2142 but they declined. The studio was eventually discontinued and most of them went on to form Kaos Studios, a former subsidiary of THQ.
Electronic Arts Acquisition
In 2004, Electronic Arts announced their intent to purchase DICE and bought a 62% stake over the next year. By Oct 2, 2006 their purchase was completed, and DICE became a subsidiary of Electronic Arts. The company name was subsequently changed to EA Digital Illusions CE, though many players still recognize the company as simply DICE.
In 2005, the company moved from Gothenburg, to the ex-Refraction Games' studio in Stockholm. This happened shortly before the company was acquired by Electronic Arts. Released in 2008, Mirror's Edge was Digital Illusion's first big project outside the Battlefield franchise with EA.
DICE released Battlefield 3 in 2011.
DICE is currently working on Battlefield 4, and the Frostbite engine that is utilized by multiple EA studios.
- From the DICE offices in Stockholm you could see the office of former game developer Grin.
- During a late night shift, a couple of DICE employees got yelled at by a drunk woman from the floor above them. She was an employee for another company in the same building.
- DICE is an acronym for 'Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment'.
- The company's foundation in The Silents is referenced in many of its games. In Motorhead, players can find the logo "TSL" - an acronym for the erstwhile demogroup.