EA Sports' Peter Moore • Page 2

He's back!

Eurogamer: Do you think, given the current explosion in casual gaming, that All Play could ultimately become a bigger deal than your core sports titles?

Peter Moore: No, we have a very strong core business and we love that consumer. That consumer is the guy who lines up at midnight when Madden comes out; it's the millions of people who buy FIFA. The new consumers coming in are not obviously that core consumer and I want to make sure our brand means something to them as well.

At the same time, there are people that have come before me in saying what EA Sports is. It's in the game, it's authentic, it's simulated, it's fully licensed. Everything you see and love in the sport you get to play. The Wii consumer says, you know, I play Wii Sports and that feels like fun, that feels like sports to me. We need to have a closer relationship with that consumer with EA Sports as well - but not lose our core consumer. Absolutely not.

Eurogamer: You talked yesterday about how, even on a yearly basis, you believe the Sports teams are creating a lot of innovation. Realistically there are clearly limits with what can be achieved with an annual franchise - if required, would you be prepared to put a hold on one of these and give them, say, an extra year?

Peter Moore: Well, if we really felt we were in trouble, that we just couldn't innovate at the level we needed to, yes. I don't think that with any of our franchises, even as difficult as it got with NBA Live a couple of years ago, there was a focus on 'let's take a year off'. That wasn't the case. The team has done phenomenally well; you've probably seen it here. We're making huge steps. We gained 15 Metacritic points this past year, from an admittedly low base.

But I don't think there's any temptation to take a year off and try and catch up. I think our teams now are really starting to get in the flow of not just PS3 and Xbox 360, but as you've seen, really get a feel for what the Wii should be all about.

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Moore agrees that discs won't last forever. We've decided to illustrate this with an HD-DVD drive, somewhat cruelly.

Eurogamer: You've commented recently on how, like a lot of publishers, you're winding back on traditional PC releases in response to the way the market is changing. I spoke with your former colleague [Xbox Europe boss] Chris Lewis a couple of months ago and we were talking about the disc versus digital issue. His words were that pretty soon discs would be an "historic phenomenon", and he suggested there would be a real shift in the next "12-18 months". Do you agree with that prediction?

Peter Moore: No, I don't think... Chris is right: physical media will ultimately go away. I think it's a lot longer than 12-18 months. But at the same time we, like all publishers, have to move online, have to find ways to deliver our consumer bite-sized entertainment less expensively, if you don't want the whole USD 50-60 experience maybe. And yeah, five years from now maybe we'll go: 'Do you remember when we used to drive to a store to buy a shiny disc with data on and come back and put it in the disc drive?' We'll kind of laugh at that; it'll go right with the 8-tracks and everything else like that.

So I think Chris is a little premature in his assumption on that. But more and more we're seeing homes with large home servers being built. The Elite for Xbox has 120GB of storage. This is all tied in with making sure that, should people want more and more content by broadband, you can store it somewhere. We at EA are of the same belief.

Eurogamer: There's lots going on with your attempted Take-Two deal... [Drowned out by loud cheering from nearby pool table]

Peter Moore: Just for the record you've got Lennox Lewis, Sugar Ray [Leonard] and [Ronald] Winky [Wright] playing pool. Lennox is a snooker player, I'm sure.

Eurogamer: You don't get that in the average development studio.

Peter Moore: No, not three of the greatest fighters ever.

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Watch out, baseball - Peter's coming for you.

Eurogamer: I was talking to [EA VP of communications] Jeff Brown about Take-Two last night...

Peter Moore: He's more colourful than me with this stuff.

Eurogamer: Everyone's looking at that deal largely in terms of GTA. EA Sports has a hole with baseball [Take-Two holds the exclusive Major League licence], so presumably you'd be looking forward to this going through at least in those terms?

Peter Moore: Yeah, we wish we had baseball. As I'm sure you know, when the NFL determined it only wanted one partner in this space, we bid competitively for that and were fortunate to get the licence. Take-Two went out and got the exclusive third-party licence for baseball, which leaves many of us here as baseball fans a little sad.

We all love the game and it's incredibly popular at this time of year in North America. It would be one of the benefits should the deal get to some conclusion, but there's a long way to go before that deal is... and I think Jeff was quoted as saying '50/50'? Good old Jeff. But I can't comment further on it.

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