EA Sports' Peter Moore • Page 2

On MotionPlus, E3 and taking the fight to the internet.  

Eurogamer: What are the criteria for selecting who goes onto the cover of one of your games?

Peter Moore: Well, we talk about a product's 'X' for every single game. When we develop a product, our teams think about what is the 'X'. And the 'X' is the positioning of where we want that product to be. For our NFL game this year, our 'X' is 'Fight for every yard'.

But the criteria is pretty simple - who are athletes that people respect, who are players that we know will drive sales obviously, who fits into the EA Sports criteria of being a great player, or an authentic player to the game, somebody we feel proud about? You look at the skill of a Ronaldinho, you look at the never-say-die attitude of a Wayne Rooney...

Eurogamer: Well, on that note, in terms of someone people can respect and are proud of: Mike Tyson is on the cover of Fight Night Round 4. Is it an issue that this guy is a convicted rapist? Are you entirely comfortable with him being on the cover of an EA Sports game?

Peter Moore: He is on the cover of Fight Night Round 4 because he's one of the greatest boxers of all time. He's on the cover because what our fans have told us and the feedback we got since Fight Night Round 3 is, what is the ultimate boxing match you would want to see if you could take a fighter in his prime versus another fighter in his prime? And overwhelmingly it's Iron Mike Tyson - the Mike Tyson I remember as a kid out of New York - versus Mohammed Ali in his prime.

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"Athletes are human beings," says Moore, on Tyson's criminal past.

Clearly you've seen those are the two fighters on the cover. We respect Iron Mike for who he was as a boxer, and we certainly respect Mohammed Ali for who he was as a boxer as well.

Eurogamer: But do you understand that people might have an issue with that?

Peter Moore: I fully understand people's issues with that and you know, the challenge you have with athletes is that they're human beings and you look at what you do, and you make some hard choices. I actually made that decision because of the respect I have for Mike Tyson as a boxer.

Eurogamer: Is there anything, then, from a sportsman's past that would prevent them from becoming a cover star? For instance, if they were active again now, would you put a former drugs cheat on the cover of an EA Sports game?

Peter Moore: You know, it's an interesting question because you look at it, and right now - I don't know how much you follow baseball - but there's a period where performance-enhancing drugs were not tested for, or the testing was kept private and so there is clearly a large percentage of baseball players from a particular era that used performance-enhancing drugs. And many of them have been exposed, some of them have admitted to it, and it's really difficult to pick through all of that. Athletes are human beings. You look at some of the decisions we have to make and they're not easy to make, so it's a case-by-case situation for us.

Eurogamer: EA Sports Active - I tried this out yesterday, Jen [Riley, EA PR Manager and punishing fitness freak] put me through my paces. Trying to do lunges in jeans was an interesting experience. You've done the '30 Day Challenge'. How did that go for you?

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EA Sports Active - not as frightening as this shot may make it appear.

Peter Moore: You know, it's interesting. I love it and I've been doing it... The Wii Fit phenomenon was something that caught our attention a while ago. Almost when I first came on board, we started to talk about how can we take advantage of this very unique game input. And with Dave McCarthy [EA Sports exec producer, also annoyingly healthy] we started to look at ways we could attach the Wii remote to the body.

It's been a steep learning curve for EA Sports to go talk to a woman - talking to a girl for goodness sakes! - and bringing in consultants, bringing in trainers, really getting the balance and the personalisation right, and [we're] delighted with the final product and couldn't be more excited about the launch of this.

As I said in my remarks earlier, 'games for good' is something we should take with some seriousness around our gaming industry and I think Nintendo's taught us the opportunity with fitness, health and wellness, and who better than EA Sports to take advantage of that?

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About the author

Johnny Minkley

Johnny Minkley

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Johnny Minkley is a veteran games writer and broadcaster, former editor of Eurogamer TV, VP of gaming charity SpecialEffect, and hopeless social media addict.

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