Rich Hilleman leaves EA

Influential Madden designer and chief creative director parts ways with publisher

Electronic Arts VP and chief creative director Rich Hilleman has left the company, according to his social media accounts.

Hilleman was EA's 39th employee, joining the company in 1983 as a support specialist, just a year after its founding. He worked his way up the org chart, helping produce titles like Chuck Yeager's Advanced Flight Simulator and F/A-18 Interceptor before establishing himself as a designer on the original Sega Genesis versions of John Madden Football and NHL Hockey. He transitioned to a teaching role with EA in 2004, and was appointed chief creative director at the publisher in 2008.

"The first product I built was built by one guy in seven months and cost $8,000," Hilleman said in 2014. "I think this year's version of Battlefield will probably be on the high side of $100 million. I don't know for sure."

It's unclear what Hilleman's next step is, but his LinkedIn account indicates he is still part of electric kart racing and development team Rattlesnake Electric Sport.

[UPDATE]: Shortly after publication, EA confirmed the news, saying, "Rich Hilleman is a pioneer - a creative mind whose work influenced many games at EA and beyond. We are thankful to Rich for his contribution over more than 30 years with the company, and we look forward to seeing what he pursues next."

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