David Rutter: ‘amazing’ EA and knowledge sharing
When you play Battlefield 3 later this year, admire the soldiers’ realistic movements and then acknowledge the FIFA development team for helping DICE to implement this superb animation technology. However, whatever you do, don’t suggest that EA Sports designed the animations for Battlefield 3.
“We helped them – let’s get that straight”, says David Rutter, long-term producer of FIFA, reacting to ill-informed internet chatter suggesting they did more. “We helped them with some animation technology. We didn’t make Battlefield. It’s amazing some of the stories you read on the internet. We helped them implement something we had implemented ourselves.”
His defensive comments are a response to being asked if FIFA 12 takes advantage of technology designed by other EA studios, in the same way that DICE has benefited from the skills of EA Sports. The answer to that question is yes, by the way:
“Our Player Impact Engine is based on an EA physics solution. We took it and we customised it and broke it apart and rebuilt it so it’s specifically for FIFA.”
Rutter’s earlier defensive stance, therefore, is not a sign of him being against sharing technology with other EA studios. On the contrary, he has nothing but praise for the symbiotic relationship that’s currently in place at EA. He also thinks the company doesn’t always get the credit it deserves:
“We’re lucky we work in an amazing company with loads of very clever people who’re all pushing in the same direction – which is amazing videogames. And I’m hoping one day that the world will realise that EA isn’t the mean marketing machine that it might have been in the past and that we’re trying to do the right thing, and I’m glad to be a part of that.”
Despite investing a staggering amount in recent years on new technology and IPs, and on recruiting the best talent available, EA still finds itself on the receiving end of criticism. This criticism stems from the days when it used to churn out the same product year after year. People saw them as greedy and lazy, much like how Activision are perceived today – but surely those days are behind them?
EA is packed full of talented individuals working on some of the best games around, and it’s hard to see how any other publishers can compete with them when all of these talented individuals are pushing in the same direction and sharing their expertise with each other.
What’s the explanation for Rutter’s earlier defensive comments then? Most likely he didn’t want to come across as though he was encroaching on the good work DICE developers are doing. EA Sports might have helped them get started, but it’s the talented devs at DICE who put it all together. Another explanation could be that Rutter dislikes inaccurate reporting just as much as the rest of us. Wait a minute, are we saying there’s inaccurate reporting on the internet? Surely not.