Friday, October 30, 2009

My New Gig, Part II: The New Gig

Okay, so I'm Editor-in-Chief of EA.com. Let me address your initial question, which I assume goes something like this: "What the fuck does THAT mean?" Actually, I'm not going to answer that yet. First I'm going to tell you how this came about.

This is mostly my doing. Meaning: I lobbied for this. It started with the EA Podcast. Over the summer, while I was beginning to feel like I was festering with the Sims group, and being under-utilized,I had lunch with a friend of mine at the company, a dude who also had a long career elsewhere in the game industry before arriving at E(verything's) A(wesome). It was a bitch session on my part, frankly. I was being totally whiny. I may even have simpered a little. The details are foggy. My friend listened patiently, quietly, chewing his food with a small smile on his face, nodding at appropriate moments to my sad, whiny tale.

After I was done, or at least when I paused to take a break, my friend looked me in the eye and said the following: "Why are you waiting for EA to recognize you? Why don't you just suggest something that YOU have to offer them?"

Yeah. Well, that's how smart people think. As soon as he said it, I knew he was right. And, in fact, just about 3 minutes later, while still talking to him, I said out loud, "well, shit, these guys don't have a podcast. I can totally do that." And as soon as I said it out loud, I knew I was going to make it happen. It was, frankly, kinda dumb that EA didn't have one. If *any* company could put together an interesting podcast, it was EA. Think of the wealth of talent in so many different fields, the rich history of games to discuss: Once you start thinking even a little about the content possibilities, it's endless.

I immediately went back to my desk. Did a little research. Did a lot of thinking. Made up a PowerPoint presentation, and spammed it to every EA exec I could think of that might be interested. And, yep, the feedback was great. I got an immediate green light, but only with the caveat that I had to do it pretty much with no budget, as kind of a "rogue" operation. It was at this point that I met my now co-worker and co-conspirator Samantha LaPerre, managing editor of EA.com, who instantly got what I was up to and eagerly jumped aboard. I've been blessed by an amazing series of managing editors over the years: Ken Brown, Dana Jongewaard, Sean Molloy, Ryan Scott, and Samantha is yet another, totally brainy and organized and the perfect complement to my scattershot absentmindedness. Plus, she has a great radio voice!
Samantha helped (and continues to help) with all the logistical details of setting up the podcast, and before we knew it we were recording.

Once I met Samantha and started podcasting, my future became clearer, to both of us. We started talking about EA.com in general, and the fact that there seemed to be so much unrealized potential, again, just like with the podcast. Samantha wears multiple hats--a fate of most managing editors--and has a marketing background, so her ability to actually manage and control "editorial" was constrained. So we brainstormed. And again, as in my earlier conversation over lunch, the answer seemed obvious. I'm coming from 17 years in journalism, 13 of those with a gaming magazine and website. Why was I *not* applying this to my new job?

(Well, we know the answer to that: I wanted to try something new. But it was almost a year now. And circumstances/the economy/whatever we're not favoring me. I was going nowhere. It was going to be a tremendous uphill battle to win any serious cred with this group. And I wanted more than that.)

From there, it just became a matter of lobbying and pitching and waiting. I got the theoretical green light mid-summer, which was fantastic, and great for my morale, but since then it's been a waiting game, just for all sorts of necessary logistical reasons. But now I'm in, finally. And my hopes, and ambition, are high.

I am completely clear on one thing: This is not a return to "journalism" for me. Let's not kid ourselves. I'm the EIC of a corporate website whose primary goal is to sell games. I'm not back in the media. I'm not going to be writing scathing reviews of EA games, or giving high scores to competitors' games, like the amazing Torchlight, which you should all go buy right now here or on Steam.

But that doesn't mean there isn't a ton I can do to make the site cool and interesting to gamers. There is. Think about it. I have 27 years of this company's history to play with and reference. A gigantic motherload of classic games and legendary designers. A thriving campus and all sorts of awesome partners (Bioware, DoubleFine, id) to draw from. It's a goldmine of content possibilities: Interviews, profiles, retrospectives, wikis, panel discussions--and on and on.

I'd be foolish to completely tip my hand here--especially since it's all still percolating right now--but I can tell you that I'm going to do my damnedest to push the boundary as far as I can take it. I may not come out and say "BOY DOES THIS GAME OF OURS SUCK!", but I'm definitely going to find that outer edge. Honestly, I believe that this is what smart companies do. I think this is where things need to be. "Transparency" is a buzzword, but it's also something I believe in. You can't bullshit people. Well, you *can*, but it won't work in the long run. They'll figure it out, and then resent you forever. And, really, why bullshit them? We're just a bunch of people, doing our best to do a good job, just like everyone else. And what people do at EA is super interesting. Not perfect, by a longshot. But always interesting. It's that avenue of things I'm hoping to explore, in an honest and open way, or at least as much as I can without getting fired. But I like that edge. I like the risk. I'm still not sorry I did that MySims Agents video, despite the fact that I pissed off I don't know how many people at EA. I still think it was funny.

Anyway: I'm yammering. And it's time for breakfast. What I'm going to want from You All now is your suggestions and requests and ideas. What would you like to see at EA.com? What don't you want to see? What would convince you that going to a company website would be worth your while? Lay it on me. I won't pay you for your idea. I probably won't even credit you! But you'll be able to sleep more soundly at night, knowing you helped me in my career and in making EA just that much more cooler. As if that were possible!

62 comments:

judson said...

What is EA thinking, the MySims Agents video of you and 1Up is the most memorable video of the actual game. For the most part, I'd wish you could get away with doing more videos like that - comedy sells...unless your Mike Meyers or Eddie Murphy (both which were very good up until the early 2000s).

An idea that I'd like to toss up for consideration is a "From the fans" segment where us fans could call into the podcast thru Skype and discuss various things about EA Games. I haven't listened to all of your podcasts, I'd admit...so I'm not sure if this idea is already implemented.

-Jud

Jeff Green said...

More funny videos are part of my master plan. :)

Rob Zacny said...

You know, 1UP did this video feature that never turned into a series: RSVP. You might remember it. They had Mark MacDonald sit down with four developers (I only remember Erik Wolpaw, sorry) and just filmed a conversation of these guys talking game development.

I thought it was utterly fascinating. It was just a gently-guided, mostly open discussion of what these guys thought about their craft. What they got from one another's work, what went into their own.

It was different than a podcast because podcasts always have hosts who really steer things. What was cool with RSVP is that they were all kind of questioning one another.

With the access you have at EA, Jeff, think of how many cool groups of people you could get together and just set them to talking. I'd love to see it.

Gabe said...

I'm be a whole lot more enthusiastic about the EA podcast if it wasn't so difficult to get without iTunes. I don't have an ipod, and apple software on windows tends to want to take over the whole damn thing and cover it with constantly running background programs and bloatware and pesters and shit (Installing Quicktime was a horrible mistake I'll never repeat!).
But the EA.com website doesn't have a centralized page for it, I just have to search and find the individual blog-esque posts about each new episode, and that's incredibly annoying unless you were in it from the start and have the RSS feed. :|

Anonymous said...

You need more than just an iTunes link Jeff. How are the non apple people supposed to follow the show?

Anonymous said...

I agree, I don't have any apple programs on any of my Pc's and I don't think I ever will...

Chris said...

I want in-depth articles about any number of topics from you. I want more videos with you talking with developers or whoever else (and yes comedy is always a plus).

Also, I want direct downloads for the podcast. I am not a fan of iTunes or RSS. I like to right click and save as for all my media.

And most of all, just make sure your voice is heard through everything, even if you can't be super critical, I never want to read something from you that sounds like super-ultra PR.

Just keep being awesome!

Paul Jones said...

I just wanted to say well done, Jeff. I read one of the first posts you made after the new gig, which was informing us of an NBA game patch or something (I only read to see how you could make that worth reading - sure it wasn't possible) but somehow you extracted a wintry smile from me. I knew right away this whole EA.com thing could really fly.

The very best of luck with it...

Beau Baxter Rosser said...

As the new Social Media Specialist for audio company Cyber Acoustics, I can totally understand where you're coming from when you talk about a new job being a challenge. Granted, I am that 26 year old you mention, but it's still new, and it's still slightly terrifying.

Things I'd like to see? I think Rob Zachny's ^ idea to snake 1up's ill-fated RSVP video and have roundtable discussions with various developers would be an awesome thing to watch.

Also, if a game does not perform as well as EA would have hoped, maybe have an interview with the team-lead and pick their brain on what might have gone wrong in the development process to garner such undesirable results. You know, don't dog on the game, but an honest opinion on "what went wrong" never hurt anything.

Joe Rybicki said...

Old-school EA PC games running in-browser. Think of the cross-promo opportunities! Get Dr. J vs. Larry Bird running to promote the next NBA Live. Old-school Madden games playable in your browser...if, of course, you sign in with your EA account...

Radek said...

Being a developer myself I might be a bit biased, but I'd love to see something along the lines of a "Then & Now" segment. You know, a bit of investigative journalism into what all the folks at EA were doing years ago, and what they're up to these days.

Every studio has its share of running jokes, awkward moments, crazy bugs, triumphs and letdowns, etc., but most never make it past the office walls. Those stories can be very entertaining and humanizing, and you have access to a plethora of people who'd probably be happy to share them, Jeff.

Erik said...

This sounds like the perfect job for you Jeff, and it's the way the industry is going.

Contentwise, I don't think I could offer anything. You're a pro.

Where I think you can really push the envelope is to find new ways to push out the content:

- Don't expect people to bookmark EA.com and read it like a magazine. That's not the way current trends are going.

- Podcasts, RSS, youtube, twitter, etc ... push the content out there in as many ways as possible. Do this aggressively.

- Show up in other media like TWiT podcasts, amateur video game podcasts, etc. Be a genuine human being, sell your authenticity and get people to check out your work at EA.com.

- SEO. If your content for a game isn't dominating the top 10 search results, you're doing something wrong. Your content in various media should cover the front page of google for a new product launch.

- Develop measurable metrics (beyond pageviews), use this to demonstrate value to EA execs, then argue for a larger budget to increase content development. Prove to them that putting money into internal content development has a higher ROI than any other form of marketing.

Jeff Green said...

Non-iTunes Podcast listeners:

There is also an RSS feed, and you should be able to listen to it directly within the player in the blog post.

We're also soon rolling out a dedicated page to the podcast that will be much easier to find.

But how else would you like to receive the podcast? Let me know!

Dan said...

Two words: Iwata Asks.

MDDevice said...

If you should have learned anything from your days podcasting at ZD, it's that people like people being honest.

People loved to hate Shane's over-the-top gushing, people love Garnett's terrible command of speech, people love your self-deprecation and somewhat snide attitude towards the corporate mentality, and people loved the awful raps on the Brodeo.

Get some good people and give them the freedom to be honest. People will listen.

Anonymous said...

EA Podcast RSS Feed:
http://www.ea.com/rest/podcast

otakudad said...

as for website design, perhaps to coincide with current releases (but even if not) perhaps get a designer to put together a page that hearkens back to earlier games. Like WAAAAAY back. I'm thinking like, a Madden 95 themed page, or a Bard's Tale page, or Skate or Die (which yes, I'd love to see a new game, but I'm sure it would suck now), a Sim City page, etc...

you get the point. But do it retro. Give it some flair. Get some guest pixel artists. Have developers put in a tiny flash game memorializing the game, on the site. (It could sell back-catalog on XBLA and stuff too, ya know...)

Anyway, terrible English skills here, but I'm hopefully getting my point across. I'm not concerned with your editorial chops, nor am I concerned with your ability to produce quality media, video, audio, or some new-fangled 3D-virtual whatever crap. I'm just saying, with the design (which is something that could bring someone to check out the site alone, if done right) get some cool help, and go retro. It's cool now. (Hell, it's always been cool. You just have to wait at least 10 years.)

flytipper said...

I'd like you to explore how EA has managed to turn itself and it's public perception around in the last few years and transformed from a negatively-perceived, megalithic, franchise-based games company to one that had revitalised it's properties and launched some great and risky new titles. Where did the change take place and is it tangible within the company/employees themselves. Be good to speak to Fifa, Visceral etc.

by Aurok said...
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by Aurok said...
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by Aurok said...

1) Coverage Based on Merit: I don't want to hear about a game just because EA has a lot invested in it, lead with your strengths. EA makes enough great games that you can gush about the good ones keeping a straight face. This will be hard to implement without ruffling feathers, but it's the only way to build a loyal following.

2) Community Stories: EA games have legions of fanboys and girls which are an untapped promotional resource. For starters, give the legendary Sims 3 saga "Alice and Kev" a column (or at least an interview). Next, get behind the mind of a pro Madden player, ask for their feedback on the game. I want to hear from people who played the games more than even the developer, and I want their thoughts and criticisms, and I want it filtered and presented in an entertaining manner.

3) Post-Mortem Interviews: THIS is what I want to see more than anything. After the dust has settled, after the sales figures are in, after the sequel has been confirmed or shelved, a tell-all interview about how the development process went. I want to hear a developer talk about a game when they have nothing to hype. This sort of article won't directly translate to sales, but it will give you digs, links, and tweets to make EA.com a place people go to read about games.

StressedOutCat said...

That RSVP idea from Rob Zachy sounds great, even if its done as a podcast.

Make the new podcast/video section more visible from the main EA.com site if possible.
( like a simple button on the main page )

Jailem said...

Podcasts are a passing fad. And no one goes to websites anymore. What you really ought to do is see if you can get them to start a magazine.

Anonymous said...

Your next task should be to convince the company to put the "O" back in the name and resurrect the cube, pyramid, sphere logo. Then it will almost be if ALL THOSE YEARS OF SUCKAGE never happened.

Anonymous said...

EA is looked down upon by so many people as being a faceless corporation, hopefully your contributions to EA.com will help make EA look "cool" again.

Anonymous said...

Before I start to make comments about ea.com (I just took a look at the site, and my first reaction is that it's a pretty standard website, designed to provide basic information about games for casual gamers... most of us already know about Mass Effect, Dragon Age, etc. etc.), I need to read the unfinished part of the blog - i.e. the part where you explain what your new role is?

I can't quite figure it out?

Are you yourself going to be re-designing the website? Who has control of it right now? What, exactly, is your objective?

The Goose.

(Are you going to be involved in an EA forum of some sort, and if so can I join? I promise I won't say anything bad about the Harry Potter novels.)

McNutty said...

Hi Jeff,

This is a bit of a specific one but I was wondering if you could focus on Battlefield Heroes. It’s a really interesting game and it managed to do the impossible and get me into online shooters.

I’m a 29 year old English Studies PhD student and I love games but NOBODY that I know in real life is into them and I’ve always been intimidated by the 1337 lulz0rs stuff that goes along with online play. I found BF Heroes to be really accessible and it has a lot of potential but at the moment the relationship between the community and the guys in charge is pretty awful and it doesn’t seem like there is much focus in how the game is being managed (at least in terms or marketing and engaging with an audience).

If you could look at Heroes for a bit on the podcast (or on the Everything’s Awesome website) then that would be great. Apart from ‘fixing’ the game’s PR the free to play model is also interesting and I’d like to hear some discussion on the attempt to reach new players (most of the people I met in the closed beta and still play with are my age or older, a few guys are closer to your age).

McNutty

P.S. I know you get this all the time but I love you! Having nobody that I could talk to about games in real life it was great to have the Brodeo back in the day and I’m still around for Out of the Game and the EA podcast.

P.P.S. Grats on the swish new job mang.

Tim M said...

What I'd like to see at EA.com-

Their online purchase catalog should feature all their products that are produced from each division (UK, USA etc..) and not targeted / selected because of a users location when they log in.

It pisses me off to no end that I (living in the USA) am unable to purchase FIFA Manager 09/08/07 etc from their store because its made and published in UK / Germany. Instead I have to go to some 3rd party with an online store overseas that accepts US credit cards to order and purchase it then wait 2 weeks for delivery of the CD.
Why can't I get it as a d/l from their online store? Oh I can get FIFA 09/08/07 but not the manager???!!! What crap is that? Do they think Americans aren't interested in running a soccer manager sim loaded with statistics and were just good for the arcade only version?
Baloney - we statistic sports to death and monday morning qb worse than anybody else when it comes to sports.

So yeah, if there is one thing that should be fixed its that - EA's entire product catalog from all entities should be available on their site regardless of where the user comes from - who knows, live a little, might increase sales a bit more giving users a chance to buy something they otherwise might not have access to!

Anonymous said...

A comment not entirely unrelated to EA and this blog:

I ordered the collector's edition of Dragon Age from the EA store, and virtually everybody at the forums said I was 'stoopid' for doing that - yeah, well guess what, the UPS tracker has just notified me that my Dragon Age parcel went through an arrival scan in Richmond, B.C., and that my parcel will be delivered to me on Monday... Monday, one day ahead of the unlock at Steam, and one day ahead of the game's in-store release.

Woot! Woot! and Woot! again.

That is what I am talking about, my friends. On Monday evening yours truly will be playing Dragon Age ahead of the rest of the world!

At this moment I think I might love EA even more than Green does.

Goose

Navn: Mats said...

I'd like a direct download page. iTunes is a memoryhog I just can't stand using, also its horrible if you get backed up on stuff, and you don't use a ipod.

Also, EA pro note: BioWare is not a partner, but a subsidiary, unlike id and Doublefine.

Anonymous said...

Just more funny stuff.

Nonikins said...

I can't believe that that MySims Agents video pissed anyone off. Hell, if it was anyone but you, Jeff Green, I would have guessed that it was a staged video as part of an astroturfing scheme.

If there really were a few people who were turned off and didn't buy MySims Agents because of your antics, then there are 50 unforseen customers who did buy the game specifically because of your antics. Your a man who can introduce games to those outside of the normal audience. If EA doesn't take advantage of this, then some other company will.

Ignoring game quality, art, morals, entertainment, and all that fun stuff, the bottom, cash-driven line is that personality sells more games, even if that personality is making fun of the game makers.

If you want to make a comparison to movies, consider how often you buy a DVD based on the extras. A commentary track with nothing but the director bitching about the studio is going to better sell that DVD. Similarly, a movie where the lead actors ended up hooking up after filming sells more tickets. Rock stars who are known to perform while high and/or drunk sellout entire stadiums despite every performance being a train wreck.

If EA wants to sell games, they should open the doors and not censor a thing.

Sean Boocock said...

"Longitudinal coverage"
Shawn Elliot frequently brought up the dream of covering a game's development like the political reporters who are invited to have deep access to presidential candidates, with the provision that they can't report until after the election. Why not attempt something like this, giving the audience a brief interview and insight once a month into a game as it takes shape. One month, interview the concept artist on how he works, what the art vision is for the game, what his day to day schedule is like, etc. Next month, one of the engine programmers on coding, some particular problems the team has faced and how they've handled them, and his own "how I got into the industry" story.

"Feature Profiles"
A monthly profile of a member of the EA staff who is responsible for "keeping the trains on time." I'm thinking of the secretary who is essentially working crunch 24/7 and might bake the dev team snacks when they are too. You already started this with the podcast segment interviewing EA's outreach coordinator. I want to hear from more people who everyone at EA knows and respects, but who might never show up on a game credit roll in a development capacity.

"Panel Discussions"
EA has a lot of developers as you acknowledge and that seems like a great opportunity to bring together developers with unique perspectives on game design. I'd like to see Tim Schaefer and John Carmack sit down to talk about telling a story in and through games/gameplay. How about some Deadspace developers and members of the Need for Speed: Shift team talking about UI design and accessibility? The Sims and social gaming?

"Retrospectives"
What are the EA classics I might have played in the 90s but have long since forgotten? What was EA doing in 1992? I'd like to have a sense of the company history and its huge back catalog of games. You might even tie into retro releases of EA titles on its store or on sites like Good Old Games.

finally and a little bit more controversial
"EA Spouse: Four years later"
EA is no longer seen as the evil empire. Dig into the working conditions of people on the various teams. How have things changed since 2005? How representative were the claims of poor working conditions back then and are they at all true now?

JugglerofGeese said...

The Podcast is also available on Zune Marketplace.

Alek said...

Redesign that website! Get some good designers on it.

More feature articles, less noise.
I'd take one good story a week over ten rubbish ones any day.

I want to know about the cogs running the machine; what does an AI programmer do?

Most of all, do what you do best and cut out the bullshit. All that PR-trained marketing speak just makes me tune out.

Looking forward to what you do with the site, Jeff.

spate said...

Outer edge, eh. Here are a few ideas..
- a frank, open, honest discussion about copy protection
- lead skus; how much more love does one console get than the other?
- video card company promotion programs. how closely do devs work with these folks?
- how quickly games are left to bitrot/stop getting the patch loving
- the proliferation of multiple closed communities tied to particular stores (e.g., steam) or exclusive DLC silliness (e.g., GFW/Mass Effect) and how that can fracture a community/designer's vision of a game

As for the EA site... the grump in me says make every page scroll smoothly on an Asus EEE PC. Currently, some pages on EA.com stutter when I scroll them in Safari on my Macbook. That's usually when I leave. This is the first time I've actually bothered to delve any further into the site.. I'm actually quite surprised how much of a makeover the place has had. Looks pretty squeaky clean these days. (That's not my adblock, is it?)

I dunno.. what's your use case for the site? Pre-sale or post-sale? Why do you expect people to come, and what do you want them to do when they get there? The only reason I've voluntarily come in the past is for patches, and now for the blog. (Speaking of which, you might want to do a bit of a podcast blogroll. I had no idea the APB guys had a podcast.)

Alex said...

BRING BACK MUTANT LEAGUE FOOTBALL. I doubt Madden '11 will include an option where I can win by killing everyone on the opposing team.

Also, new Road Rash, plz.

Tristessa said...

I've been enjoying the podcast. I like hearing companies talk about their product - as long as it's not just an awesome PR fest. Great job so far.

I know that many people had a problem with the way EA was running the company a little while back but as a consumer, I never understood the hate. Over the years, so many games I loved were published by those guys. From "Pinball Construction Set" and "Mail Order Monsters" to "The Bard's Tale", on through "Skate or Die", "System Shock", and right up to the tsunami of huge new favorites of mine (skate!)- seeing that company name became nearly synonymous with playing games. I'll always remember that old logo with the square, circle and triangle.

No kidding, when you talk about the "wealth of talent and rich history", it really is endless. I hope you get the opportunity to do something on the podcast that covers the old games and history of the company. Maybe that's the nostalgia talking...but also, I'm a sucker for geeks talking about the stuff they love.

For the most part though, just keep doing what you're planning and I'll at least check it out. And from time to time, I'll even drop in some feedback.

Alex said...

"I know that many people had a problem with the way EA was running the company a little while back but as a consumer, I never understood the hate."

The only reason why I hated EA was their vice grip on the NASCAR license, but now that they're giving up on exclusive dibs, and letting Polyphony Digital put NASCAR in Gran Turismo 5, I'm forgiving them.

Plus, Burnout Paradise is teh awesome.

Budo said...

Well Jeff, first of all congrats. you deserve and earned it. And it's always great to see someone not only find a great job that utilizes their talents, but also has the cojones to actually create that job when it is not available.

Regarding suggestions, I'm sure you'll get a whole bunch of great ideas that will make anything I contribute seem worthless, so I'll go the alternative route and suggest what your content should NOT be:

Just grab one of those last issues of GFW magazine, and take a good long look at that Microsoft Games for Windows add on section. Do the complete opposite of that - if you see anything you write matching the overall language, theme and style of that atrocity, you are walking ye olde faile path. Turn back and take the other editorial fork in the road.

Anonymous said...

Videos about upcoming games, or reflections on games in the flavor of bloopers/outakes.

Skit based weekly episodes(think snl/Dave chappelle) would be awesome. I know it would be difficult to do, but it would kick so much ass. They could take popular gaming trends and apply them to real life situations, along those lines.

Promotions with EA games as prizes.

wobbles said...

"What would you like to see at EA.com? What don't you want to see? What would convince you that going to a company website would be worth your while?"

The only time I go to company websites is when I'm forced to. To download a patch, login to my account so I can do something online, need to rant on a forum about a crappy bug.

So I guess you can put out buggy games and I might go to your site to rant.

If I want actual content though, a game company website is the absolute last place I check and I don't know that you can do anything to change that, to be honest. If you can, you'd be the first and making something completely unlike any I've ever seen. Maybe that's what you're going for, I have no idea to what extent you'll be able to change it up.

Also, I'm skeptical of how valuable our input is. I suspect your target demographic will not be the people that read your blog.

Jeff Green said...

Just want to tell you all:

These suggestions are awesome. I'm not only reading them all, but making sure co-workers do as well. All of this is great stuff. Keep it coming.

Sully said...

I'll be honest with you - the last time I visited a game company's website was Ubisoft's, something like 3 years ago, to download a patch for Rainbow Six Vegas, I think. Other than that, it's hard for me to think of a reason to visit one. I go to Kotaku, gamasutra, gamerswithjobs, the Gaf and Bitmob for my gaming news and views. But if you had a big fat direct download button for the EA podcast on EA.com, I would certainly visit more often. It's the thing that got me going to 1up in the first place.

If indeed the people at EA call it Everything's Awesome, then that is something I would like to know about. I like the hidden traits of a company's corporate culture.

Also, the only reason I even KNOW about MySims Agents is because of you and your funny comments to Tina. I think EA underestimates what it could do with its reputation as the Evil Empire.

See, I never went to Garnett's twitter page, but I constantly checked EvilGarnett's. Now, I'm not saying that EA should start an EvilEA.com site or anything, but definitely being able to poke fun at oneself is charming. In fact, some of the promotion for Dante's Inferno has been very cool. Like the checks. The sexist stuff was less cool.

I also agree with a lot that's been already mentioned - post-mortems of old games would be great! But also, do some crazy shit. Maybe you could have a video podcast where Tim Schaefer takes you on a tour of his house or something. Creative people aren't just creative in one thing - usually everything they touch turns to goodness. I would be curious to see what kind of curios he has collected in his home.

cheers Jeff.

Wetzel said...

I really like the podcast, and with your background I'm sure you'll be able to do great things with the site. Just a small suggestion, with Dragon Age: Origins coming out today, you should try and get the Doctors on the podcast. I've heard them on different podcasts before, and they are amazing to listen to. Maybe give them their own column or monthly podcast or something on the site.

swift said...

"3) Post-Mortem Interviews: THIS is what I want to see more than anything. After the dust has settled, after the sales figures are in, after the sequel has been confirmed or shelved, a tell-all interview about how the development process went. I want to hear a developer talk about a game when they have nothing to hype. This sort of article won't directly translate to sales, but it will give you digs, links, and tweets to make EA.com a place people go to read about games."

I'm in complete agreement with this. Some of the most fascinating parts of EGM were the post-mortem pages. I'd love to see one for Mirror's Edge or any EA titles that released in the bast two years.

The Deviot said...

I like the idea of putting some retro games up on the site in flash.

For God's sake put up the C-64 classic: MAIL ORDER MONSTERS!

Then when clicks are through the roof, get your bosses to green light a nice shiny new entry for modern computers. Hell, get the Spore people to do it! They already have a pretty bitchin' create a creature program under their belts!

That is All.

Oh wait, a new Caveman Ugh-lympics might be fun.

Jeff Green said...

Yeah, all this retro stuff. I'm totally with you guys. I need to make that happen.

Ronnie said...

Can we get retrospectives on franchises with up coming releases.

My big wish is a good look back at the Battlefield games. I started with 1942, playing every single day for almost 3 years. I still play 1942 to this day. I have purchased every single game in the franchise day one. I even bought a new 360 when my original red ringed the day 1943 was released (not just for 1943, I wanted a 2nd one for the bed room and 1943 was my excuse), to bad I still didn't get to play it.

BF has garnered such a wide audience on the consoles, it would be cool to show the newer fans where 1943 came from and how Battlefield got its start (Codename Eagle too please).

Anonymous said...

Okay, well, if your colleagues are reading this, then allow me to cut to the chase:

As a mad passionate gamer, and somebody who has been 'hanging out' at gaming websites from the time Gamespot was still just in its infancy (and yeah, I think I am pretty representative of your typical 'gamer' - except that I might be a little bit more intelligent), the last place I'm going to visit is a corporate website that's trying to push product at me.

Why on earth would I want to visit a place like that? Part of the reason I game in the first place is to get away from that crap.

Here's the thing, see.

Jeff's a fun, intelligent, and articulate guy who LOVES gaming - and the simple fact is that we, the individual members of The Great Unwashed, respect him chiefly because... you guessed it... he's one of us... and he tells it like it is. (He's a damned talented writer too, and when you're reading his stuff he makes you feel as though he's addressing you personally... all great writers possess this talent.)

In my day to day life, I don't know ANYBODY who's a gamer. Whenever I bring up the subject of gaming (sometimes I just can't help myself) the conversation is almost always a one-way one. Jeff is like the gaming friend I never had. If you listen carefully then you'll hear a lot of people say that they feel like they actually know Jeff.

So here's the way I see it.

Just let the guy do his stuff and your website will be a lot more 'fun' to visit. Personally, with regards to the website, I don't feel I have to suggest or tell Jeff to do anything at all, because I know that whatever he does, if he's left alone, it will end up being great - the guy had me at hello when he started writing his Greenspeak column for CGW... and then there was the GFW podcast, which simply elevated him into the stratosphere.

Just let the guy go to work on your website, as a gamer, and as a writer. The more rules you throw at him, the more you'll end up taking away.

And by the way, if it turns out that Jeff does suck, and ends up ruining your website, then please give me a call, because I think I could do it.

Thank you.

The Goose.

Anonymous said...

Also, I had to take time out from playing Dragon Age to write all that - so you know how much I meant it.

The Goose.

Danh said...

JG... you inspired me. Time for me not to be recognized and take an initiative of my own. Thanks for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

Weekly dramatic readings ala the GFW Radio Conan Cyber. Elevating games-related text chat to art! Now to convince the execs.

Anonymous said...

Above all, stay as honest as you have been until now. The second I feel you're towing the company line would be the second I'm gone.

And since you're doing the official EA podcast, you should at least comment on important developments concerning the company. I found it really disappointing when Glen Schofield's departure from EA wasn't mentioned on the podcast at all - even though you had done a big interview with him shortly before.

If possible, it would be interesting to get more people from EA Partners on the show - Tim Schaefer would be the obvious candidate since BrĂ¼tal Legend just came out.

Jason said...

Good on ya Jeff.

I'm pleased to hear you've got something out of this using your own initiative. Must feel good.

You've got a lot to add to the industry and I'm glad they recognise it.

Best of luck with your endeavors.

Jason Ritchie (UK)

effingoode said...

Cabrito En Fricase / Goat Stew

WillyBeans said...

Jeff,

I'm a constant one-way videogame consumer. I don't 'give back.' I never write comments on posts, engage in forums or any of that stuff, but I did want to say that I think your little experiment is working already.

Companies like valve, google, etc... seem to do pretty well because of good products, but also because of the decent job they do at build a cache of confidence with their customers.

Long story short, I used a gift card today to pick up Dead Space Extraction and Dragon Age when I had originally walked into the store looking to just spend the free money -- I had thought I'd probably leave with Fallout and Uncharted 2 or something...

I don't necessarily know the exact reasons why I would pick these games over others, but I strongly suspect that listening/reading your thoughts about EA and the direction you want to take the company's public face has gone a long way to plant that seed of good will in my mind that makes me just the least bit more likely to give EA that same amount of auto-cred that valve and others get. At the very least, I know that those game boxes caught my eye because of the EA logo and the PR work you've been doing lately.

Anyway, all this to say that at the very least, your experiment sold (at the very least) two products for EA, and I think you deserve some of the credit.

Anonymous said...

Way to write, writer! You've stumbled onto the path to well being. Seems you're happier now than at any time in the last four years I've followed your work. Keep it up.
-Joe

Colin Epstein said...

I'm thrilled to see you get into a position more suited to your prodigious talents, and I can't wait to see you bring some life to a corporate website. That's no small feat, but you're the man to do it, and I'm sure you've got some cool stuff planned.

That said, I feel sorry for the timing in becoming the online "Voice of EA" just in time for massive layoffs and a public step away from any game not deemed a sure-fire profit machine. I know you can't really comment honestly on that stuff in your official capacity, and that must be a bit frustrating. If you did touch on it as part of your EIC duties, however, that would be a damn impressive step towards the transparency you mentioned on the site.

Best of luck in the new gig. Anytime you're writing, I've got something worth reading!

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Bond22 said...

Hello there Jeff

I believe you said maybe you should start a petition.

I have recently created a Petition to bring Dead Space 2 to PC
and so far I have 115 Signatures and growing each day.

I have also created a website
http://sites.google.com/site/savedeadspace2pc/