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Electronic Arts interview: EA A/NZ general manager, Rob Davey

Patrick Budmar | Jan. 25, 2013
We find out more about the man behind the industry leading publisher.

RD: That at the age of 44, I play Battlefield online and can hold my own against players the same age as my two daughters. [Laughs]

Many executives in the gaming industry don't really play games, yet some still have the knack of understanding the business and the products. Do you think that makes the job easier?

RD: For me personally, having a passion about your product is key. I simply don't think I would have the same degree of motivation if I didn't get excited when I see internal product presentations or walk the floor at E3. Gaming is such a deep passion for many of our consumers, that being able to appreciate the role they play in peoples' lives is important in giving us a better opportunity to deliver what it is that consumers want.

What about other executives? Do you believe they should start gaming more?

RD: Far be it from me to advise others what they should or shouldn't be doing. [Laughs]

Several industry pundits have been talking about the popularity of the current console generation. However, as it is at the end of its cycle, there are concerns about a lack of creativity to really spark the business. Do you agree?

RD: Well, we certainly do see a slow down in new IP releases as we approach the end of hardware cycles. The fact is that the software business as it is reported is only part of the true demand that we see as one of many publishers. Consumers today are choosing to remain engaged with fewer titles, and these are titles that delivering real quality and depth of gameplay, and have an ongoing, online component. EA, for one, has evolved from delivering a day one game launch that we put on shelves until the following year, to providing year round engagement with our players for on-going offerings, game extensions, new content and new ways to play across multiple platforms. I would suggest therefore that, whilst the sheer number of titles slows down toward the end of a console generation, innovation and creativity is alive and well, but in an increasingly diverse multi-platform gaming ecosystem.

Some are also saying the longer console cycle is not helping the industry, and are instead looking forward to new consoles coming out. What are your thoughts on this?

RD: The introduction of new hardware always brings excitement to the industry, with new offerings for consumers. When and if that will happen, only time will tell.

What would you say the proudest moment of your career at EA is?

RD: There have been many, such as joining the company in the first place, becoming sales director in the UK, taking over as general manager, and moving to Sydney would all be up there. However, the moments that sit highest with me are those when good people have told me that I made a difference to them, hopefully for the better.

 

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