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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: Peter Moore: From Dreamcast to Xbox to EA Sports
Peter Moore, currently the head of EA Sports, formerly of Microsoft's Xbox division, formerly of Sega where he championed the Dreamcast, has some interesting things to say in a recent series of Guardian articles.

from Part One:
In the end it didn't work out. It was tough, but those were great days and I've never met anybody who regretted buying a Dreamcast. Soul Calibur anyone?

[...]

We had a tremendous 18 months. Dreamcast was on fire – we really thought that we could do it. But then we had a target from Japan that said – and I can't remember the exact figures – but we had to make N hundreds of millions of dollars by the holiday season and shift N millions of units of hardware, otherwise we just couldn't sustain the business.

So on January 31 2001 we said Sega is leaving hardware – somehow I got to make that call, not the Japanese. I had to fire a lot of people, it was not a pleasant day.

We were selling 50,000 units a day, then 60,000, then 100,000, but it was just not going to be enough to get the critical mass to take on the launch of PS2. It was a big stakes game. Sega had the option of pouring in more money and going bankrupt and they decided they wanted to live to fight another day. So we licked our wounds, ate some humble pie and went to Sony and Nintendo to ask for dev kits.

Part two, regarding the Dreamcast fight against PS2:
You know, failure's a tough word! It didn't quite get there. I was angry with Sony at the time, but in their shoes I probably would have done the same thing. They did a tremendous job – and it's a story they repeated in 2005 with Killzone – where they promised the consumer something they probably believed they were going to deliver, but they never did. PlayStation 2 - it was the emotion engine it was games coming to life, Real Player was going to be on there, a full network browser… and they just never delivered.

But what they did was place doubt in the consumers' mind. It was pre-emptive guerrilla PR

[...]

But [Sony] were brilliant at FUD – you know, fear uncertainty and doubt. It was a massive FUD campaign. The consumer thought twice and they started to read, 'can the Dreamcast make it?'

And in Part Three, he has damning words for Rare, the company that made BattleToads, Donkey Kong Country, and N64 Goldeneye:
we were trying all kinds of classic Rare stuff and unfortunately I think the industry had past Rare by – it's a strong statement but what they were good at, new consumers didn't care about anymore, and it was tough because they were trying very hard - Chris and Tim Stamper were still there – to try and recreate the glory years of Rare, which is the reason Microsoft paid a lot of money for them and I spent a lot of time getting on a train to Twycross to meet them. Great people. But their skillsets were from a different time and a different place and were not applicable in today's market.
BLEARGH
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Member since Oct 2007 · 316 posts
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I get that EA sells millions of games every year. But their monopolistic tactics are a big turn-off, and they've run beloved franchises like the Ultima series straight into the ground. All they care about is profit, and they have expressed no desire to cultivate talent or to produce games as art. I don't buy EA games, and I don't care what their figurehead leaders have to say. They owe too many people too many apologies, and I can't see how they can make up for past grievances. Video games should be more than just another commercial racket.
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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EA hasn't been a positive force since they were started to be an artists' publisher.  Remember their first games, with spotlights on the game creators inside every bi-fold sleeve?  Then they got big, and then they got evil.

I stopped buying their stuff after Red Alert 2, though I confess I bought Crysis earlier this year... 

And there's evidence they're changing tactics, after it became clear their buy-and-destroy developer buying tactic was ruining the talent they bought...
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