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Moore: Next-gen could see more innovations before launch

Moore: Next-gen could see more innovations before launch

Fri 14 Jun 2013 11:57am GMT / 7:57am EDT / 4:57am PDT
PublishingE3 2013

EA COO and ex MS VP says "it's a brave new world"

EA

When it comes to the console wars, EA COO Peter Moore has seen it all before. After all, as well as his current role overseeing work on Xbox One titles like Titanfall, he was Microsoft's corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business when the Xbox 360 launched in 2005.

"These are long long races and right now I think we're in the locker room putting our shoes on to get ready to walk out to the start line for the marathon. And maybe if Microsoft put the wrong shoe on at first then they've got to go and take it off and find another one," he told GamesIndustry International at E3.

"If Microsoft put the wrong shoe on at first then they've got to go and take it off and find another one"

"People have to remember there isn't a finished box on this planet yet. Everything is still in pre-manufacturing and so there's a lot of changes that could be had, there's a lot of pricing discussions that involve bundles and subscriptions and different ways of goosing the price either way."

Of course there is one finished "next-gen" box on the planet, and that's Nintendo's Wii U. A quick glance at a list of EA's announced upcoming games doesn't show a lot of love for that console, but Moore points out that EA has four titles on Wii U already, and is watching its development with interest.

"We continue to monitor where Wii U goes, and it's a question then of where we deploy our resources. Resources are precious in this industry," he explains.

"We've got resources and we make decisions on mobile, free-to-play, PC games, you've got current gen, Xbox 360 - do we keep our crack development teams on current gen? Do we move them on to next gen? Who does current gen, is that the B team? So we have to make all of these hard decisions. Wii U has to be in that mix , and we're watching with interest what happens with Wii U and maybe it gets a boost coming out of E3 and it's something for us to look at again. "

1

One area where EA is happy to invest, according to Moore, is in new IP for the new consoles. He points to Gears Of War as an example of why this point of the new console cycle is the best time to launch IP, something that the company is doing with Respawn's Xbox One exclusive, Titanfall.

"The Respawn folks, at that time Vince [Zampella] and Jason [West], ourselves and the Microsoft team sat down and figured out what can we do that is unique and innovative that can help drive the relevancy of Xbox or Durango or whatever the hell we were calling it at that time, and from that perspective a deal was struck," he says.

"And it's almost as if you treat Respawn like a part of Microsoft Game Studio, per se, and it's about making a great experience for the gamer. It will get, as you might imagine, tremendous platform support and marketing support from Microsoft. It also allows the developer to focus everything on a singular platform which means ultimately they're going to get a much better game."

He's proud that EA had the foresight to support Respawn two years ago, and clearly believes the IP could be the next Gears Of War, a new and exciting franchise for a new and exciting machine.

Moore might be all about the games side of the business these days, but as a man who helped to steer the Xbox 360 to success he explains he's not concerned by the apparently high price of the latest iteration.

"It's less about the initial price point, it's the cascade over the years of how you bring in that next level of consumers and people who are committed to your platform."

"Pricing is important, but there's a long way between now and November for both companies "

"So from that perspective starting at $499 has you at a $100 disadvantage to the PlayStation 4, but knowing my former employer well and knowing how they've got a great deal of focus on how they can grow install bases - I always remember saying first to ten million wins back in the old days of 360 - and that's an important thing. "

He also hinted that both companies could have extra features in the pipeline that could affect prices in either direction. While he was non-committal, the mention of subsidised offers will be interesting to anyone who followed rumours earlier this year that said the Xbox One would be $500 on its own, or at $300 with some manner of subscription.

"Pricing is important, but there's a long way between now and November for both companies to do innovative things with bundling and maybe some surprises, who knows, some other things that may bring the price down, and maybe some things that send the price up."

"I don't know, it's a brave new world versus the old days of a singular piece of hardware with no services attached that simply you put in a cartridge or a disc and it played. It's more exciting nowadays and with that excitement gives you more opportunities to mess around with pricing. You may get some subsidised offers, who knows?"

"That's why I'm glad I'm this side of the fence."

Interview conducted by James Brightman.

14 Comments

Jakub Mikyska CEO, Grip Digital

202 1,107 5.5
Popular Comment
It seems that Microsoft and EA are totally in the bed together. Judging from how high both these companies are currently standing in the public opinion, it seems like a great fit ;-)
But on a serious note, major publishers' support, which only seems to be growing, is really THE major advantage of XBO over PS4 and although everyone is praising Sony for "winning" the console war so far, this is clearly a problem for them.

Posted:A year ago

#1

Stu Johnson Technical Lead

15 39 2.6
the old days of a singular piece of hardware with no services attached that simply you put in a cartridge or a disc and it played.
Ahhhhh... they dont make 'em like that anymore :)

Posted:A year ago

#2

Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development

882 1,296 1.5
We're not in the locker room at all.

If you want a sports analogy, we're at the press conference where two boxers are shouting "I'm gonna whoop yo ass" at each other about a week before the fight.

And like boxing, I wish they'd all just shut the fuck up and show me what they're made of later.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Craig Page Programmer

384 220 0.6
But we don't have to guess and make up analogies, we have pre-order data! And it looks bad for Microsoft, already they're losing their advantage at home.

From IGN: "Early data for console pre-orders from major online retailers in the United States show consumers pre-ordered approximately three PS4 units for every two Xbox One consoles during the period between Monday June 10 to Wednesday June 12".

Posted:A year ago

#4
EA COO and ex MS VP
Says it all - to criticize those behind the XBone is to criticize his judgement and involvement with the company and how he picked the direction that led to this mess (remember his current position was achieved only as he was left standing after another predecessor jumped - one he had helped hire!) The nepotism and complacency is all going back to haunt those top-tier executives in the international industry. Will XBone force blood letting from the larger corporations in order to rid themselves of this complacency and "deal with it" attitude?

Posted:A year ago

#5

Peter Moore Chief Operating Officer, Electronic Arts

15 94 6.3
"-remember his current position was achieved only as he was left standing after another predecessor jumped - one he had helped hire!"
Not sure what this has to do with the subject matter at hand, but I am assuming from your rather inane comments that you are implying that I am not qualified to occupy my current role at EA?

Posted:A year ago

#6
It would seem that having an opinion is a means for personal attack in the cut and thrust of business skills in your sphere?

[Dictionary - 'Inane' = Silly; stupid; not significant.]
Not sure that my comments are silly as they seem to have pricked a cord? Stupid - no would not say that either, based on personal knowledge of the skills employed, and the 'problem' that the respective companies have walked into - I would say the stupid line would be the claim there is no problem? In sharing your valued opinion I hope that you feel big enough to consider others opinions - if not, then it may be best to sit back and watch the reactions than insult.

And finally, if you re-read my poor scribbling, you will see no mention of a claim you have insignificant qualification - the total opposite - a proximity to the problems and possible "forest and tree" syndrome that has been apparent from the "deal with it" attitude of your confederates.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by kevin williams on 14th June 2013 10:26pm

Posted:A year ago

#7

Petter Solberg Freelance Writer & Artist,

66 44 0.7
Personally I'd like to see LA Noire-like motion scan/facial animation tech become the norm for story-based games. Many people have written this off as a gimmick, but I think it could drive storytelling in games forward as it allows for really precise and subtle performances. While I don't think the LA Noire has the best game story ever, it really shows how an actor performance can really enhance a dialogue. While I thought LA Noire's attempt to incorporate the tech into the gameplay came across as a little too obvious for me (you can't always tell how truthful a person is by looking at his or her face - it kind of breaks the illusion), it really shows how one-note most performances in video games are today.

Imagine what a writer like Charlie Kaufman or Quentin Tarantino could for storytelling in games with this tech. It's expensive and time-consuming, but I think it's a necessary step. I don't really the industry had been ready until now.

I didn't mention Quantic Dream's tech as it actually doesn't seem to be as accurate with faces (it could just be the way the Dark Sorcerer demo was stylized), though it more effectively captures the whole body performance.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Petter Solberg on 16th June 2013 1:49pm

Posted:A year ago

#8

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,179 967 0.8
As usual Jakub, you make a lot of sense.

Posted:A year ago

#9
Hello... Peter... you still there? No reply? Oh, will take that as you seen the error of your ways!

Posted:A year ago

#10

Peter Moore Chief Operating Officer, Electronic Arts

15 94 6.3
Sorry Kevin, I left high school about 40 years ago.

Posted:A year ago

#11
Oh, shame, wanted to have a adult discussion on this - but if you have not exited 12th Grade yet will wait.

Thank you for a valuable line of discussion on the forums, we are enjoying your views.

Posted:A year ago

#12
Great Kevin, I guess speaking to him like that is why these comments are full of students, bloggers, and useless hanger-ons to our industry.

Posted:A year ago

#13
@Jason -
Your right; the best way to ignore our views is to try and claim they don't matter ("inane") - but as many in the rarefied atmosphere of the top executive structure of the larger corporations are finding out - the axe cuts for them as well as for the rest - and they are concerned that more people are questioning their true value to the sector - especially after the fiasco of XBone launch.

A reason I want to avoid the media's attempts at creating a cult-of-personality for these executives - they are not supermen, and they are defiantly not omnipotent - some even have serious questions over their actual ability, when separated from the cliques that seem to be forming in times of troubles - a reason I think Peter felt his cage had been rattled by my comments!

Bang goes my Christmas card!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by kevin williams on 19th June 2013 12:06am

Posted:A year ago

#14

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