Wednesday, 20 March 2013

John R

As the author of a widely lauded alternate history short story featuring John Riccitiello as the protagonist, I feel like I should comment on recent events. But it turns out Stephen Totilo has done the hard work for me, writing a thoughtful piece about the man, if not the company he lead.

John to me sounds like several company owners I have had the pleasure of working with - people with integrity, but also intelligence who have inspired those around them. A CEO is responsible for two things: communicating the vision of the company, and holding ultimate responsibility for its execution. You may criticise the decisions he has made, but it sounds like he has made those decisions with consistency and in view of the long term plan for EA.

It is often the case that people forget it is what someone hasn't done which is just as important as what they have done. EA has not gone bankrupt, or become worthless, the CEO has not left under a cloud or in ambiguous circumstances, the company has not become completely risk averse. People may hate EA, and by extension its CEO, because of the SimCity launch fiasco, but it is exciting to see so many people care about a game in the obscure city builder genre, as opposed to just another FPS.

For the record, I completely disagree with always on DRM and to a large extent with the software as a service model (Fuck you Google), but I can see why EA has made those choices - if not why they have failed to communicate them clearly.

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