EA CEO Put the Mirrors in Mirror's Edge, Likes Risks

By Blake Ellison, Oct 16, 2008 12:20pm PDT Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello was responsible for the plentiful reflective surfaces in DICE's Mirror's Edge because he "pushed the bejesus" for the game to be third-person, according to a recent interview.

As part of a Gamasutra interview series, Riccitiello revealad he was "a little freaked out" over making a first-person game that wasn't a shooter. Instead, Mirror's Edge is a first-person game inspired by parkour running.

"I was really wrong about the third-person thing," he admitted in the wake of rising hype for the game. But he got what he wanted in the concession of adding mirrors. "I got mirrors so you can see [Faith, the game's protagonist]," he said.

The CEO touted parts of the publisher's holiday portfolio as signs of progress. Games like Mirror's Edge and EA Redwood Shores' Dead Space "bookend a degree of risk for a large publisher," Riccitiello claimed.

As for 2009, EA is looking to push those bookends further outward, even if Riccitiello is a smidge conflicted about it. "I agonized about that one a little bit," he said in reference to the publisher's partnership with boutique Japanese developer Grasshopper Manufacture.

Ultimately, Riccitiello wanted to be a man of his word: "As a general thesis, I talk a lot about trusting creative people and supporting them."

Riccitiello dodged a question about possibly picking up Double Fine's Brutal Legend in the wake of abandonment by former publisher Activision Blizzard. "I am well aware of what the game is. It's a very significant creative risk," he said of the new effort from the Psychonauts developer.

Whether that fits between EA's bookends of risk is undecided: "Spore was also a significant creative risk. So was The Sims. Portal, BioShock. But so was Grim Fandango," he concluded.

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