Visit to Electronic arts (Silicon Valley 08, Day 3)

Escrito el 27 Mayo 2008 por Ricardo Pérez Garrido en Educación / Education

We finished our visit to Google, of course, having lunch at the main cafeteria. I had been there already, but it is all you might expect: people from all over the world, food also from everywhere… and a combination between fast and slow, work and fun, that is so difficult to achieve…

We went back to our hotel in SF, where Rob Weiner, Chief Evangelist and Innovation officer for Genesys offered his vision on how to manage innovation in mature industries. This is a compelling and interesting vision combining the role of engeneering and management teams and the life cycles of products and industries. They have managed to lead their industry for decades and now is trying to keep ahead of the market as part of a group (Alcatel-Lucent) that is not doing so well and is struggling to maintain its position and create a culture of innovation (remember, this is the same company that owns Bell Labs…).

The next day we move to the entertainment industry: Electronic Arst and The Sims management/development teams. Again the culture and the approach to the market are key. We spent some time with Steve Seabolt, VP Brand Development for the Sim Franchise. He has been in the industry for years, and the vision of how seriously they take the customer was very interesting. A couple of interesting projects with Ford and Ikea are a signal of the times to come, with more advertising into the game –the good one. Later on, Ben Bell, Sims3 executive producer, guided us through the evolution of the game, its nature as a play-alone game, and the efforts to coordinate and motivate a team of +200, with different profiles and interests. The industry is becoming more and more like a film studio, with long and expensive projects where big bets are placed in each project.

As always one of the most interesting parts of the day was the visit to the development teams, where in the same floor you have creative staff, management, programming, testing… and again a feeling of freedom and at the same time tight control over timing and results… tough combination to manage. Probably it has something to do with their position as leaders. The combination of really advanced software development methodologies with the creative aspects of a game was somehow challenging, but apparently it worked very well. The key point: creating a common vision of the game to pursue as a team. Thanks to Bart Menayas for his engagement and openness. He is one of the producers of the Sims (coming to EA from Maxis) and added great value to our understanding of the industry and the process of creating a successful game in a very competitive environment.


Electronic Circuit 12 Julio 2009 - 14:56

Unbilievable tour. Google , EA and others . This my dream 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

Electronic Circuit

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