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Peter Moore Talks About His Experiences In the Gaming Industry 87

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-he-has-a-lot dept.
Over the past several days, the Guardian has posted a five-part interview with Peter Moore, head of EA Sports. Moore was also the president of Sega, and a vice-president at Microsoft, so his experience at the top levels of the gaming industry is extensive. He describes how he came to be employed by Sega, the development of the Dreamcast, and its subsequent flop when confronted with the Playstation 2. He also discusses his involvement with the development of the Xbox franchise, how the integrated hard drive "killed" the original model, and he gives his account of how the Red Ring of Death fiasco affected the company. The series ends with a look at EA Sports' plans for the future, and how they're trying to create a new business model beyond the micro-payments popularized by iTunes, which Moore calls "a rip-off."
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Peter Moore Talks About His Experiences In the Gaming Industry

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  • In other words... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218)

    Over the past several days, the Guardian has posted a five-part interview with Peter Moore, head of EA Sports. Moore was also the president of Sega, and a vice-president at Microsoft, so his experience at the top levels of the gaming industry is extensive. He describes how he came to be employed by Sega, the development of the Dreamcast, and its subsequent flop when confronted with the Playstation 2. He also discusses his involvement with the development of the Xbox franchise, how the integrated hard drive "killed" the original model, and he gives his account of how the Red Ring of Death fiasco affected the company. The series ends with a look at EA Sports' plans for the future, and how they're trying to create a new business model beyond the micro-payments popularized by iTunes, which Moore calls "a rip-off."

    So in other words he has a lot of experience with companies that end up failing? Lets see... As the summary states the Dreamcast failed, when he worked with the Xbox he ended up when they started having the RRoD, and how he hates his current company (which can't make a decent game IMO) for charging micro-payments. Sure he has experience, but he doesn't seem to have any decent experience in succeeding.

    • by timmarhy (659436)
      yeah it's amazing just how many of these professional exec's jump from company to company on million dollar salaries, leaving a trail of failures behind them, yet continue to be in demand? i just don't get it, if one of us was such a massive failure we'd be out of a job.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by witekr (971989)
        The Xbox 360 and Dreamcast are not exactly failures. Sure, the Dreamcast didn't penetrate the market as well as it should have. That doesn't prevent it from being a great product that still sold (until the PS2 problem). And the 360, well, considering that it's the only modern console i'd ever think of buying these days (although I am probably just going to stick with my trusty PC) I would consider it a massive success.
        • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday September 19, 2008 @10:30PM (#25081619)

          Sure, the Dreamcast didn't penetrate the market as well as it should have. That doesn't prevent it from being a great product that still sold (until the PS2 problem).

          The Dreamcast problem happened mostly because Sega's other consoles managed to fail miserably. The Master System sold very well in Europe, and the Genesis (Mega Drive for all you people not in NA) sold very well all over. However, the addons didn't catch on as well as Sega had hoped for the Genesis. And the Saturn managed to basically fail. Wisely, Sega pulled out of the hardware business and now can make crap but sell it with the Sonic name and make decent sales.

          And the 360, well, considering that it's the only modern console i'd ever think of buying these days (although I am probably just going to stick with my trusty PC) I would consider it a massive success.

          Sure, the 360 actually made MS relevant for a while, but a few mistakes are going to lead to its downfall: A) Profit to loss margin. Every time someone buys a 360 MS makes no money on it. They actually lose money, same with Sony and the PS3, on the other hand Nintendo makes an instant $50 with every Wii console sold. B) HD-DVD. By supporting HD-DVD and then refusing to release a Blu-Ray drive, MS basically lost what the PS2's big selling point was: The next generation of video. The PS2 was a success not only because of the games made for it, but rather because at the time it was a cheap DVD player at the start of when DVDs started to become popular. With the rise of HD-TV and people refusing content that is not HD (I never can understand why, but then again I don't even own an HD-TV), Blu-Ray is going to push the PS3 forward. And lastly, C) The total cost of ownership. The 360 is like a bad computer, one that starts out cheap but requires a massive hardware upgrade to actually do anything. The $199 price point seems low, but when you realize that you have to buy an $86(!) wireless adapter to have the basic functionality of the $250 Wii. Not to mention that you also need to pay for online play, which, granted, Live is much better than the online services that Nintendo has to offer. Then you also need to buy a $50 hard drive to fully use it. This leaves you with a $335 console.

          The 360 also has the RRoD problem and the scratched disk problem that may make customers not want to buy it.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by westlake (615356)
            Every time someone buys a 360 MS makes no money on it. They actually lose money, same with Sony and the PS3, on the other hand Nintendo makes an instant $50 with every Wii console sold.
            .

            It is never quite that simple.

            Is Nintendo really netting $50 on each sale of the Wii? You also need to ask how many games are being sold for each system and what the return is there.

            Nintendo has proven there is a market for a console one generation behind the XBox 360 and the PS3. But that could be a tougher sell the nex

            • Well, considering that Wii games lead the charts month for month (see Gamasutra for stats), I say the only reason Microsoft and Sony survive, is because of the large pile of cash backing them.

              But I know from internal sources, that Sony is in fact in a near-death (shall I say "zombie"?) state for at least the last five years. One unlucky thing more could bring the whole company to it's knees.
              And for Microsoft. Have you seen what their stock was worth once and what it's worth now?

            • by bussdriver (620565) on Saturday September 20, 2008 @11:34AM (#25085167)

              Nintendo always was around the same price point for their systems; they've been going the longest and know their marketplace well.

              The Wii IS the next logical generation. The other two are a huge price jump to skip a generation ahead which was because they were marketing on penis envy to an older audience (who has that problem.)

              As disposable income has gone down, we have 2 game systems that have gone up in price. When I was a kid, nintendo was a BIG purchase for my parents and the 80s econ wasn't as bad now-- plus having irresponsible debt wasn't as popular (for families.)

            • Nintendo has proven there is a market for a console one generation behind the XBox 360 and the PS3. But that could be a tougher sell the next time around.

              Depends on whom they are selling the consoles to.
              Wii had a big success because they weren't selling them to user who would buy PS3s or 360s.

              They didn't try to sell it to hardcore gamers who would want to pick up the biggest baddest machine available.
              They tried to sell it to a completely different market of casual gamers. The ones who weren't going to buy a console in the first place.
              They targetted family setting, casual flash-game player, etc... they managed to sell console to a whole range of population wh

            • by BenoitRen (998927)

              Just because it doesn't do HD doesn't mean it's a generation behind.

          • by gad_zuki! (70830)

            Err, there are 11 million xbox 360s out there. Thats not failure.

            >Profit to loss margin.

            MS makes money of licensing and monthly fees. I can give you a 6-blade razor for free, but guess what? Youre paying for refills. This is a non-issue.

            >blu-ray

            11 million people dont seem to care. The PS3's total sales are half this. If it was such a determinant then we would see a lot more PS3s out there. Honestly, Im expecting blu-ray to be this generations laser disc anyway. Id be surprised if it even takes off,

            • by tyrione (134248)
              As of the end of June, 2008 Total Unit sales disclosed by SONY for the PS3 is around 14.5 million units and climbing. Where the hell do you get 5.5 million [half of the 11 million XBox sales]?
          • by suraklin (28841)

            I think 360 will be around until the next generation of consoles and still be relevant. I am not a MS fanboy, I own all 3 current gen systems. There are a few holes in your argument.

            A) Profit to loss margin. Every time someone buys a 360 MS makes no money on it

            This has been a typically accepted practice in the console business for a long time, eventually the hardware costs come down and the console breaks even or makes a small profit. It is the razor/blade model. The hardware is sold at a loss while money i

            • This [negative profit on console sales] has been a typically accepted practice in the console business for a long time, eventually the hardware costs come down and the console breaks even or makes a small profit. It is the razor/blade model. The hardware is sold at a loss while money is made on the license fees on the games.

              I don't think it has been around for too long. From what I can remember, Sony and Microsoft have been the only companies that have been selling consoles at a loss. They also happen to be the only two companies that were well established before entering the gaming industry and have enough funds/resources to allow them to sell for a loss.

        • by timmarhy (659436)
          i don't care about your consoles, it wasn't the point of my comment
    • by unity100 (970058) on Friday September 19, 2008 @11:25PM (#25081989) Homepage Journal
      success of companies rarely depend on one man. and modern games are not made by a single man alone either. publishers dont let that much of creative freedom to anyone.
    • The summary is wrong.

      If you actually read the interview Moore says that he thinks selling games for 49 pounds and walking away from the consumer is a rip-off. He compares it to selling CD's for 15 pounds instead of allowing people to buy only the two tracks they want.

  • Irony (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blool (798681) on Friday September 19, 2008 @10:08PM (#25081451)
    Moore calls micro-payments a rip-off. I call Madden '97 to '08 a rip-off. No I didn't read the articles, I don't care what the head of EA Sports has to say. Not to be mean, but I've never played an EA sports game that was anything but mediocre. I'm not even against sports games in general, but my friends and I would much rather play NFL Blitz or Wayne Gretzky 3D hockey for the N64. These are games that are actually FUN, not just shiny.
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by statemachine (840641)

      I did RTFA, because I was sure the summary was wrong. Nope.

      How is 99c a track a rip-off? He doesn't explain. He could have justified it by comparing to Amazon, or something even about how artists don't get most of it.... Not even an attempt. Peter Moore just comes off as a jackass. Is there something the interviewer left off?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Toonol (1057698)
        It's pretty clear. He mentions that songs on iTunes are 99 cents, and asks what they are in the UK. The interviewer says 79 pence. He says "oh, you're being ripped off."

        I think it's both clear and accurate.
        • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

          by statemachine (840641)

          No it's not. You make it sound like it is, but yet you don't even quote his whole statement, or even an accurate part of it.
          1) No mention of iTunes.
          2) He *did not ask* what they are in the UK before the interviewer interrupted with the UK price.
          3) He says "You're being ripped off," which taken in context could very well mean that 99c or 79p or both is a rip off.

          How you got modded informative is beyond me.

          • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward
            So paying 40% to 60% more just because of what country you live in isn't a rip off?
            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward

              So paying 40% to 60% more just because of what country you live in isn't a rip off?

              It isn't if it isn't intentional. You can't expect a company to change its prices every time a currency fluctuates. Plus, there are also fixed costs and marginal costs that are different in the different countries you do business in. For instance, sometimes the rights to the same song by the same band may be held by different companies depending on the country you sell it in. Plus, there may also be some differences in taxa

    • by westlake (615356)
      I call Madden '97 to '08 a rip-off. My friends and I would much rather play NFL Blitz or Wayne Gretzky 3D hockey for the N64. These are games that are actually FUN, not just shiny.
      .

      The hard core sports fan wants the game day experience.

      Updated rules, stats, rosters, uniforms, stadiums and so on. You have to deliver the look and feel of the game as it plays out on HDTV.

      Players are no longer locked into animations. Features of the new animation system include mid-air collisions, big-time, one-handed catch

    • ...he says that 79p is a rip off when tracks are 99c in the US (currently about 54p). Nothing more.
    • by sponga (739683)

      So you decide for others how they like the game and whether they had fun.
      There are hundreds of people I have come across in life that are perfectly happy to play the sports game. When I decide to socialize with my friends we get together for weekend football games, beer pong, fantasy talk and in between we get to play a NFL/NCAA game for fun.
      People have fun managing their own teams and customizing them, not looking at poor model collisions and really square

      Why the hell would I want to play '97 madden for th

  • Sega suicide (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Neon Aardvark (967388)

    The 32x and the mega-cd thingie killed Sega. The dreamcast was a actually a really good console.

    But I can't be arsed to read the article and find out if he was responsible for those two abortions.

    • by mikael (484)

      He blames the Sony Playstation and the lack of EA signing up to develop for the Dreamcast, as the reason it failed.
      Though some programmers I met said it was because it only supported tiny texture maps - 64x64 tiles rather than full-size textures.

      He also blames Sony for sending out videos to FUD the competition - that I can believe - Sony would often take an animation reel and send it to their developers, saying "we want this title to look like that" eg. quad mesh characters when everyone was using billboard

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Toonol (1057698)
        Texture mapping the dreamcast did well. The capabilities of the Dreamcast were very close to the PS2; even better in some ways. It died because of Sony marketing, plus the fact that the PS2 included a DVD... which I think was the biggest advantage of the PS2 over the Dreamcast.

        Great little console.
        • Better? How? The dreamcast has less RAM, a slower CPU, and worse floating point performance than the PS2 does. It doesn't have USB ports, it doesn't have backwards compatibility with the Saturn and it doesn't keep the same controller, but uses that huge bloated monstrosity that the Xbox controller was obviously based on.

          And if you weren't an Sega/Capcom arcade game fanboy the game library didn't have much for you.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by MBGMorden (803437)

            and it doesn't keep the same controller, but uses that huge bloated monstrosity that the Xbox controller was obviously based on.

            Actually the Dreamcast controller is probably my favorite console controller to date. The Playstation Dual-Shock controler is my least favorite. They have zero ergonomic feel and the left analog stick is in an awkward position (because it was pretty much just tacked onto the original PSX controller). Don't get me wrong I've got a PS2 and I have played a ton of good games on it, but it was certainly in spite of the controller rather than in spite of it. In 99% of games where the option was there I just b

            • Actually, at that point in SEGA's lifespan, the Dreamcast didn't just have to do well, it had to win unambiguously. The basically were at a doomed point in their life. Even their commercials reflected this, Bizarre Japanese Sega commercial [youtube.com]

              I think the actual goal of the system was to make SEGA the company attractive to a decent buyer, instead they ended up being hostiley taken over by a company that sells gambling machine to sleazy gambling dens and brothels. (Nothing, I object to of course having been in

    • I think most, if not all, of the hardware was done by the Japanese team. And don't forget about the Saturn. Sega had a string of hardware duds until the Dreamcast. Although the DC did well, it was not going to be a PS2 killer, and they decided they weren't going to take another shot.

      From what I can tell, a lot of Sega's problems were internal. It seemed like the bigger the project, the less likely Sega Corp & Sega of America would get along, which resulted in duplication of effort, and sometimes even s
  • Rip-Off (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Adrian Lopez (2615) on Friday September 19, 2008 @10:20PM (#25081563) Homepage

    The series ends with a look at EA Sports' plans for the future, and how they're trying to create a new business model beyond the micro-payments popularized by iTunes, which Moore calls 'a rip-off.'

    Nah. Paying $49.99 for software that incorporates stricter DRM than a 99 cent iTunes song... now that is a rip-off!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by badboy_tw2002 (524611)

      Dude, the meme is "graphics not gameplay" or if you're talking about EA then "its workers are slaves!" Get it straight when you go to your slashbot posting toolkit!

  • by xenolon (469955) on Friday September 19, 2008 @11:18PM (#25081947)

    After RTFA, I would just like to point out that Moore doesn't call iTunes or micropayments "a rip-off."

    After mentioning the 99c US price for individual iTunes tracks, the interviewer tells Mr. Moore that the UK price is 79p. Mr Moore responds "you're being ripped off." The inference here is that 79p is not equal, given to the exchange rate of US Dollars to UK Pounds, to 99 cents.

    This is one of many (growing) examples of the /. summaries being inaccurate, sensational, and combative. I expect this from the comments. In the summary, I expect at least the pretense of some sort of journalistic integrity.

    Sigh.

    • Wow! The Peter Moore Damage Control is strong in this thread!

      Peter Moore absolutely insinuates that "Steve Jobs" is ripping people off by charging per track.

      The relevant portion:

      So it's all about downloads and community?
      We've gone from connected consumers being the minority to connected consumers being the majority.

      We need to look three years into the future and say it's going to be a completely different business, because of broadband connections. I am not going to be at the helm of a company that ends up like the music business that refused to stop trying to sell you CDs for £15 because it was a hugely profitable model. And the music consumer says, 'you know, I don't want to pay £15 for 12 tracks of which I want two, I don't want shiny discs anymore'. And so what did the industry do? It started suing its consumers for illegal downloads and, you know, Steve Jobs comes to the rescue to figure out a way to charge you 99 cents or whatever you're paying in the UK.

      79p
      Is that what it is? You're being ripped off. We're not going to do that, we're going to evolve, we're going to go faster for the consumer, whatever the consumer wants. So in the future hard drives are going to be bigger, broadband is going to be faster and we're going to look back and laugh at the fact that we used to drive to the store to buy a piece of plastic with data on it. That business model isn't going to exist - I don't know whether it's going to be five years from now or ten years, but it's not going to be around anymore.

      Peter Moore offers no alternative. He just goes on further to say he'll eliminate selling "plastic." Which Steve Jobs, Amazon, and others pretty much have done.

      No talk about charging *less per track*. Or how he can charge *less per track*.

      Sorry, Peter Moore is still just being a jackass. Did the interviewer leave something out?

      • by miro f (944325)

        You fail at reading comprehension

        79p
        Is that what it is? You're being ripped off.

        Two things:

        1) he says "You're being ripped off", not "We're being ripped off", which is a huge difference.

        2) He says this after finding out the UK price, which is, of course, a rip off.

        You could conceivably take this to mean that he believs 99c per track is a rip off, but the obvious thing to take from this is 79p per track in the uk is a rip off.

        • For crying out loud. You and your buddies continuously and conveniently leave off his sarcastic remark about Steve Jobs rescuing us.

          Steve Jobs comes to the rescue to figure out a way to charge you 99 cents or whatever you're paying in the UK.

          The second part you and your buddies fail at is this: The next thing out of the interviewer's mouth was just a statement and not even a response. There wasn't a question asked!

          79p
          Is that what it is? You're being ripped off. We're not going to do that, we're going to evolve, we're going to go faster for the consumer, whatever the consumer wants.

          I've continued the quote here for your convenience since you aren't inclined to quote in context, and I've put analysis below since you fail at logic.

          Peter Moore is saying:
          1) 79p is a rip-off (and not 99c

          • by Toonol (1057698)
            Wow; that was a really quick whipout of a conspiracy charge. While I haven't taken a survey, I'd say 80-90% of readers would interpret Moore's comment to mean that 79p was the ripoff... since that was what his statement was in response to.

            Can you even conceive that maybe there isn't a group of PAID CONSPIRATORS POSTING TO SLASHDOT TO BOOST MOORE AT THE EXPENSE OF JOBS, but maybe your interpretation is just flawed?

            He's saying, and this is pretty obvious, 99 cents is less than 79 pence, so being charge
            • Oh, you're back.

              You also don't detect sarcasm. In either Peter Moore's interview, or in my comment.

              "You're" could mean anything. People tend to say that in speech when they should say "one" or "we" or maybe Peter Moore is saying he, himself, doesn't pay at all and that the interviewer's paying anything at all is a rip-off. Did you stop to even consider that? No. You're just blindly defending him like the others.

              Peter Moore also whips out Steve Jobs as an example ... of something, and a very American one at

    • Wait, you expect a pretense of some sort of journalistic integrity ... on Slashdot??? Well, how many failure will it take for you to give that expectation up? And more importantly, I have some sub prime ARM mortages that are about to hit an increase in the interest rate care to buy in? The properties are all located on beachfront property in Galveston Tx! You couldn't be any closer to the beach!
    • In the summary, I expect at least the pretense of some sort of journalistic integrity.

      You must be new here.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    1. How to make lots of mistakes as a top guy in video game companies or divisions.

    2. How to get people to continually decide a history of accomplishing #1 means they should hire you as a top guy at in their video game company or division.

    I have to admit, I'm jealous of his talent for the above. According to the latest SEC filings, the guy is making $2.15 million in salary a year - and I'm sure he has plenty of options and benefits - so here's to hoping TFA articles gives me some insight into how to convince

  • I would definitely agree that $0.99 for a song is a ripoff. I think $1 to play 3 songs in a bar is probably a ripoff.

    I know I don't speak for everyone, but as far as music goes, I don't listen to individual songs, but albums. There have been very few bands as of recently that have an album that you can listen to straight through.

    I'm a musician so I definately have a longer musical attention span than most. I'm sure writers don't really appreciate tabloids, artists don't appreciate the posters you s
    • To me, an album is like a picture, it shows a moment of the band. If I buy one song from an album, it is like I'm taking just a small part of a picture, and by doing so ignoring the rest of the work the band did with a whole album.

      But that's just me, today musicians make a lot more money selling one song that made it to a movie or tv show, than selling a solid, continued work that could be an album.
      Back to your comment, I think the "buy one song" thing is a rip off, but the musicians know that fact and use

  • I was at Microsoft at the time (though not in E&D division). It was immediately obvious to me that it would take over the motherfucking world. This sorta means that vision-wise, I'm better than those overpaid retards who keep pumping shareholder money into a console that will never provide any ROI. The worst part is (well, for them anyway), Sony PS3 will provide ROI in a year or two, when Blu Ray really takes off.

  • Let's save everyone time and slim it to 5 words instead.

    EA makes really bad games.

    • by Swampash (1131503)

      I'll slim it to two, so long as they're a speech bubble coming out of Moore's inanely-grinning mouth.

      "SO AWESOME"

  • Ahem (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gruntled (107194) on Friday September 19, 2008 @11:54PM (#25082139)

    I don't generally say this about people -- OK, Bill Gates -- but back when I was a journalist, I had occasion to interview Peter a number of times when he was with Sega. I'm sorry to say that he's an extraordinarily skillful liar. He has absolutely no compunction whatsoever about looking you right in the eye and flatly declaring something you both know is true is in fact false. It's quite a talent, but you've got to be a bit of a sociopath to pull it off properly.

    Twenty years ago, if you repeatedly lied to a journalist (I mean really lied, not dodged or fuzzed or dissembled) reporters would just stop quoting you. We called it the death penalty. If you're wondering what I'm talking about, do a Google search for Larry Speakes, Ronald Reagan's press secretary, and you'll learn why you thought Marlin Fitzwater was Ronald Reagan's press secretary.

    These days there's really no downside to lying to a reporter. Peter is a great example. You can probably think of a few others.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      20 years ago, a reporter would CALL them on the lie. Now, in the "fair and balanced"/Fox News era, the most we can hope for is for the reporter to offer a liar on the opposing side a chance for rebuttal.
  • Wow, so this guy has been present at each company during the production of their worst failing systems ever...well, so much for EA!
  • The quote about Apple and the music industry shows an incredible amount of ignorance and assitude. Here's exactly what I'm talking about:

    I am not going to be at the helm of a company that ends up like the music business that refused to stop trying to sell you CDs for £15 because it was a hugely profitable model. And the music consumer says, 'you know, I don't want to pay £15 for 12 tracks of which I want two, I don't want shiny discs anymore'. And so what did the industry do? It started suing i

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      There's a retard involved here, but it isn't Moore.

      First, the notion that the music industry should not have stopped selling CDs is simply asinine. I'm in my 40s and even I don't buy CDs anymore. They're outdated, obsolete, and completely unnecessary. The market has spoken, consumers don't want to buy music on shiny plastic anymore.

      Which is exactly what he said "I am not going to be at the helm of a company that ends up like the music business that refused to stop trying to sell you CDs for £15

      • Yep, I'm a retard. Thanks for setting me straight. I completely misread what Moore said. I should never comment this early in the morning, especially a saturday morning. God, I wish Slashdot had a delete button!

  • Moore called 79p for an iTunes track a ripoff because it is $1.45 USD. He was not attacking the micro-payment system, because he is obviously masturbating to the idea before the interview if you read the article. He wants to charge a fee for weekly updates of the player stats in tune with the real player's achievements. As well as other nickle & dime rip offs.

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