EA CEO: We Were Torturing Need for Speed Devs


Speaking at an investors meeting, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello noted his disappointment with Need for Speed: ProStreet, and said that EA had been "torturing a very talented group of people" at EA Vancouver with rigorous 12 month development cycles reports GamesIndustry.biz.Though Need for Speed: Most Wanted was a recent series highlight, newer games like Carbon and ProStreet were not received as well.Electronic Arts attributes this to the fact that EA Vancouver had been producing a new Need for Speed game every single year for the past eight years. That changed last summer, when EA split the company into two teams, hired more people, and put both teams on two year development cycles.Though it won't have the benefit of the full two year cycle, the first game to come out of this changed development philosophy will be this year's Need For Speed: Undercover. The game is described as a mission-based one with a strong story, with Riccitiello likening the general feel of the game to that of the The Transporter movies."I'm confident that Undercover is a much better game than Pro Street, and I expect that from this point forward they will do a lot better," Riccitiello is quoted as saying.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 18, 2008 5:29 AM

    so, half the people but twice the time?

    • reply
      June 18, 2008 5:33 AM

      hahaha I noticed that too. Very bizarre.

    • reply
      June 18, 2008 5:40 AM

      actually, they added people; i'll note that.

    • reply
      June 18, 2008 5:46 AM

      I'm surprised that Riccitello came out and said this. Those poor devs / everyone at EA are always under the agile development whip of the scrum master. :<

      Hang in there guys!

      • reply
        June 18, 2008 10:03 AM

        God... maybe that works for people in programming, but I've seen that same attitude and style of mismanagement applied to Admin/Infrastructure work and it was a bad fit... in my opinion it likely isn't a great fit for many people in development locations either.

    • reply
      June 18, 2008 7:05 AM

      Well, unless they double the amount of money they make, they have to reduce team size to avoid blowing the budget. Cost of head per month is a pretty common metric.

    • reply
      June 18, 2008 9:30 AM

      More people doesn't always help. I'd always rather have more time than more people. One of the big problems in development is that often times problems are "solved" by just shoving tons of people at the problem. At some point, more people doesn't help.

      I realize I'm taking your statement out of context....just thought I'd throw that out.

      • reply
        June 18, 2008 10:05 AM

        Well you have to manage those people effectively too. The real issue I think is that even if you devote more people (resources) to it, they have to retarget and focus on their new tasks, plus they have to have useful tasks to the overall project. Thats a tall order when time is not available. Many managers aren't capable of dealing with that effectively or communicating that properly. So it wouldn't surprise me that its just so difficult.

    • reply
      June 18, 2008 7:43 PM

      I think most dev houses would prefer half the people but double the time. Assuming you have good people.

Hello, Meet Lola