Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Recruitment thread

As I'm sure you've heard by now, CCP has picked Owen O'Brien from Electronic Arts to be the new Executive Producer of EVE: Valkyrie.

In terms of actions taken by CCP, this one isn't very surprising at all.  All C-suite executives have hand-picked people that they like working with and work well with.  And when an executive moves from job to job, it's often quite common for them to recruit from this pool of people into their new organization.  It's something I've seen dozens and dozens of times from various perspectives.  I've even been that person myself a time or two, from both sides of the equation.  ;-)

Given that Sean Decker is conspicuous in his praise for O'Brien in the press release and given that both were sometimes interviewed together at the release of Mirror's Edge, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if O'Brien is one of Decker's hand-picked people from his time at EA.  In any case, I'm quite sure that when Decker learned of CCP's openings in a variety of positions, like any good executive he started thinking about people who would be good fits for positions within his new company.  And CCP would have been foolish not to talk to some of Decker's suggested people.

Hell, if there's a surprise here, perhaps it's that Decker didn't suggest someone for the EVE Executive Producer job.  (And I'm not saying he didn't, because I don't know.)

For those of you who complain that Decker's mere presence as an EA executive makes him inherently evil, O'Brien's hiring will give you nothing to feel good about.  As far as I've been able to determine, O'Brien is a long-time EA employee, having come up through the ranks from Shogun: Total War to Dungeon Keeper 2 to a string of Harry Potter video games to Mirror's Edge, taking on more and more important production roles with each jump.  That's at least 13 years at EA.  He seems to have joined DICE around early 2006, quite early in the release cycle for Mirror's Edge and been an important leader in its development and release.  It's a pretty good bet that he's been working the recently-announced Mirror's Edge sequel since then.

The original game is itself a good resume for the Valkyrie EP job, given that Valkyrie's challenges and opportunities are closely related to the challenges and opportunities Mirror's Edge faced in terms of potential simulation sickness, a bold visual style, and enclosed story-based game-play.  Viewed from that perspective, O'Brien is a near-perfect fit for his new role.

But of course that's not going to stop some of you out there from thinking EA is filling CCP with awoxers.  ;-)

All in all, I think this is another encouraging move by CCP and I find it interesting that they keep looking outward for these key leadership positions.  Of course, the job that's most important to me remains unfilled...

6 comments:

  1. Burn the heretics. Pre-empt the awoxers by awoxing them.

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  2. I'm not quite sure I understand the concept that "[CCP] looking outward for these key leadership positions" is a good thing. EveO is a very unique game. And it's not young. If anyone else thought Eve was a good idea they had plenty of time to use is as inspiration. Where are the spawn of Eve? I don't see any.

    So what, just because they get a paycheck they're suddenly going to be supporters of Eve's harsh pvp-heavy sandbox? Or more importantly, they'll suddenly have an idea of what the player population wants, what the game's ills are? I would like to know which pod pilot is theirs so I can see how long they've been into Eve and what they might know about it.

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  3. tsk, tsk. I thought goons-are-literally-BoB-now was bad a couple months ago.

    Screw that, CCP is literally EA now. Mandatory Eve-is-doomed comment.

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  4. CCP will dump tons of money and resources into it only to have it all disappear in a few years. I'll say it right now: CCP does not have the chops to do such an ambitious project. If you think EVE is a niche game, you haven't seen "niche" until you start requiring people to buy a $300 set of goggles to play. Valkyrie has failure written all over it. It will be like Incarna and DUST times 10.

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  5. I'm a bit miffed that this game was created by a handful of CCP employees, created out of their 20 percent time usage.

    CCP see's what a great reception it gets at fanfest and from the various press that attended, so what do they do? Strip it away from its creators, and hand it over to some third party executive who had nothing to do with CCP, EVE or the concept and creation of the game.

    This might make me sound bitter, but it truly looks like a case of the fat getting fatter. Why not reward the dedicated, passionate and innovative employees that created the game out of thin air in their twenty percent downtime by giving one of them a shot at the role?

    Can't help but feel those CCP employee's are a little bitter, thinking they could've taken the ideas and concepts they'd come up with, walked away from CCP and started their own company where they could develop their vision in their own way... I know it would bum me out to come up with a great idea, creating a working demo of it, then having a stranger come along and tell me what to do with it.

    /rant

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  6. "The original game is itself a good resume for the Valkyrie EP job, given that Valkyrie's challenges and opportunities are closely related to the challenges and opportunities Mirror's Edge faced in terms of potential simulation sickness, a bold visual style, and enclosed story-based game-play. Viewed from that perspective, O'Brien is a near-perfect fit for his new role."

    Simulation sickness? Let's get this guy on the jump animation fix!

    ReplyDelete

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