Peter Moore: Kotaku "reveling in self-smugness" over Riccitiello

The EA COO takes to Facebook to defend John Riccitiello's legacy, calls it a "sad day" for the industry

Peter Moore, Electronic Arts COO and potential candidate to become the publisher's next CEO in the wake of John Riccitiello's resignation, has made it a habit of late to call out some members of the media. Earlier this month, in a comments thread on GamesIndustry International he accused Videogamer of fabricating a story about Dead Space, and now the executive has taken to Facebook to protest Kotaku's highlighting "The Best John Riccitiello Jokes Twitter Has to Offer."

"Kotaku reveling in what, due to their self-smugness, they don't realize is a sad day for our industry, which is the platform on which they actually make money. John not only helped propel our company and interactive entertainment into new experiences, thus enticing millions of new people to become 'gamers', his work leading the ESA in recent years has helped ensure that we don't experience the fate of the music industry," Moore said of his former boss. "Sad loss for all of us who had the pleasure of working with him as we emerged from The Burning Platform."

Others from the industry also chimed in. Former Epic Games boss Mike Capps, who recently stepped down from his advisory role at Epic, commented, "Indeed. I doubt we can shout louder than the misinformed, but it's still worth speaking up!"

Former IGN editor Hilary Goldstein added, "I don't often quote the Bible, but I will this time: 'Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.' One of the reasons the games industry struggles to be taken seriously is that it is criticized by amateurs. And yes, I am aware I ran IGN once."

Riccitiello, himself, very briefly joined the conversation on Facebook to simply say "Thanks all."

Investors, who were largely growing more and more impatient with EA and Riccitiello everyday, today have reacted positively to the news, as the stock has been up in after hours trading. We'll have much more on the Riccitiello departure, what it means for EA, and possible replacements soon. Stay tuned.

Update: Peter Moore, keeping a watchful eye on Kotaku, has now praised the publication for its more recent editorial on Riccitiello's legacy (which we recommend you read as well).

"To their credit, Kotaku offering up a more balanced view of John, his service to the industry, and his accomplishments while CEO here at EA. Nicely done..." Moore commented about the Kotaku article in a recent post on Facebook.

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Latest comments (20)

DeShaun Zollicoffer Editorial Director, Geek Revolt5 years ago
I'm surprised the guys at Polygon were chiming in considering their SimCity review has turned into a running joke in the industry. I agree with Peter Moore. Everyone needs to grow up -- someone losing their job is nothing to joke about.
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Jose Martin Entrepreneur & Financing - Media / Tech / Interactive Entertainment 5 years ago
Well, in their defense, Polygon made the mistake of allowing the review to be based on a controlled play session - terms dictated by EA - the Polygon reviewer played the pre-release build on a private server for a set time limit. As many sites, who have given SimCity abysmal marks, have learned, the game actually seems fun at first (once connectivity becomes stable), however extended play on real servers reveals unaaceptable game breaking bugs, broken systems and what all agree, devolves into a fundementally non-functioning product once a city grows to a decent size.

Polygon does have the unique scoring system in place, however, which allows them to continually update their scores to reflect both positive and negative developements after initial release. In this case, removed online features to aid in server stability, continued problems with cloud saves and region resources sharing and the aforementioned bugs which only become apparent after extended play, have resulted in Polygon's current updated score of 4.5.

Still, kicking someone when they're down is pretty low... I may feel EA made some major missteps over the last few years but a large public company like this has so many moving parts that no one man is responsible for all the mistakes even though the leader unfortunately takes the fall. Mr. Riccitiello is obviously a talented individual and has the respect of his peers, I'm sure he will land on his feet, I wish him well.
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Patrick Williams Medicine and Research 5 years ago
John Riccitiello had a great vision for EA when he joined and as a result they made some fantastic products. Its sad to see how EA struggled forward with its implementation and that its come to this after of SWTOR, DS3 and now SimCity.
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Show all comments (20)
Gareth Eckley Commercial Analyst 5 years ago
I have to say that John Riccitiello never came up on my radar as one of the guys driving the industry into the ground. There are many other individuals who have treated gaming as nothing more than a market to be shorted, but from a creative standpoint, I don't think JR should have been shot.

And yes, I have a list, in case anyone is wondering.

What I do wonder is how much of this is purely down to SWTOR. Take SWTOR away and I'd have thought EA have done pretty well over the last few years.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Gareth Eckley on 19th March 2013 4:00am

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Justin Trautmann Studying Digital Media & Multimedia Technology, Hillsborough Community College5 years ago
If the CEO is not responsible for the company... does it not then fall to the COO?

If John Riccitiello is not responsible for the continued poor performance of EA.... who is?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Justin Trautmann on 19th March 2013 4:37am

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Matthew Handrahan European Deputy Editor, GamesIndustry.biz5 years ago
@Patrick: I completely agree. John Riccitiello had some admirable ideas that placed him in stark contrast to other CEOs within the industry. This turnaround in perception really only started in the last 18 months or so, and seems to be fuelled by consumer ire around a series of indirectly related events.
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Luke Salvoni Senior iOS Developer 5 years ago
@DeShaun: Riccitiello is not "losing [his] job", he resigned.
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Nick McCrea Gentleman, Pocket Starship5 years ago

Some are suggesting he was forced out by the EA board, with the missed guidance the final straw after the SW:TOR saga and other recent events. I'm inclined to believe he was pushed rather than jumped.
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Adam Campbell Game Manager, Azoomee5 years ago
I have to say that John Riccitiello never came up on my radar as one of the guys driving the industry into the ground.
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Paul Shirley Programmers 5 years ago
"I have to say that John Riccitiello never came up on my radar as one of the guys driving the industry into the ground."

In a behemoth like EA pinning blame is always going to be problematic. However it's his job to take the blame and sympathy is misplaced. EA went to war with their customers, suffered consequences and need change. A scapegoat is needed to allow that and he's being well paid to be it.

Unfortunately I have little confidence EA will learn anything and make appropriate changes. Others may though.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Shirley on 19th March 2013 11:38am

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Craig Burkey Software Engineer 5 years ago
I like John Riccitiello, he has had a PR problem, along with EA as whole, with certain gamers that believe that they should produce content for free and resent paying for it and are very vocal about it.

I think his successor needs to be more open with the processes of game development, maybe commission a documentary similar to the guys at double fine showing a game move from concept to release, teach the consumer how their $40 is spent in development and the risks involved on basing decisions on projected sales

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Craig Burkey on 19th March 2013 12:28pm

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Christopher McCraken CEO/Production Director, Double Cluepon Software5 years ago
someone losing their job is nothing to joke about
This was a CEO, of a publicly traded AAA game developer and publisher. Trust me, he's doing opposed to the myriad of other rank and file game developers who were laid off in the various bloodbath layoffs of 2012 from multiple studios. You know, the ones who do most of the living, working, and production and usually get no pomp and circumstance...only a pink slip and a box, and they certainly get no severance in many cases. No Golden Parachutes.

You'll forgive me if I don't shed a single tear, and instead break out the worlds smallest violin. I have no love of Kotaku, none at all. They're a rag. That said, it's the height of poor form to talk about what a great guy someone is, when the building you're in is on fire and that same "great guy" did nothing to put out the fire and added gasoline to it.
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Nick Parker Consultant 5 years ago
Peter's looking in fine fettle in the above shot; maybe he's been limbering up for a bit more responsibility.
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David Serrano Freelancer 5 years ago
@Christopher McCraken


The reality is his resignation is clearly in the best interests of EA, it's investors, consumers and the medium in general. But replacing him with Peter Moore or Frank Gibeau would be like replacing Dan Quayle with George W. Bush. They need to look outside the company for a replacement who has years of hands on studio experience. And his or her first action should be to completely dismantle the house that Riccitiello built.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by David Serrano on 19th March 2013 6:00pm

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Mary Hilton Community Manager, Reclaim Your Game5 years ago
Don't feel so sorry for Riccitiello-his severance package is probably pretty nice, and he will undoubtedly find another position quickly enough-even with all of his 'failures', he was CEO of a major gaming corporation for 7 years, and that's not something to laugh at.

As for other personnel, they do need to look at the other executive positions and start noting the inherent weaknesses of the individuals. I feel that Gibeau and Bradshaw could be replaced by others who actually understand the idea that if it weren't for customers their company would not exist.
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Looking outside of the company would be a great start...but the board at EA would have to actually recognize their mistakes and want to change the way they ran their business, and I don't see much indication that they have or will.
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Christopher Thigpen Lead Producer, Kiz Studios5 years ago
But he didn't lose his job, he quit to a 1.7 million dollar package. It is hard to empathize with that kind of pay out.
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Sean Edwards Director, Shovsoft5 years ago
John made the correct decision when he came to power to consolidate, create new IP's and increase quality. That strategy did not sit well with investors but EA's line up of games since have been pretty amazing. The stock price plummeted largely because of the GFC, hardly something he can control or be responsible for.
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Andreia Quinta Photographer, Studio52 London5 years ago
Feel sorry? You reap what you sow. You can't be in constant war with the millions of customers (real flesh&bone people) that pay the bills $40 / $50 at a time.

I feel sorry for my best-friend who was made redundant and is having trouble finding a job, I feel sorry for the game developers that were dismissed during these past couple o'years by multiple studios because they were shut down or cutting staff. You shouldn't feel sorry for a guy that has years as a CEO of a multinational titan stepping down (forced or not) and redeem a chunky severance pay. Trust me, he'll be hunky-dory...

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Andreia Quinta on 20th March 2013 12:06am

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Janne Lampela Student / Freelance 5 years ago
Leading the ESA in support of SOPA and PIPA hardly earns any more goodwill than leading EA with their aggressive microtransaction and always-online policies and blockbuster focus.
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