Gamasutra has a nice five page interview up with David DeMartini of EA Partners, the Electronic Arts division that has released games like Rock Band, Crysis, The Orange Box, and, uh, Hellgate: London in the past year. It’s a pretty wide ranging chat, from discussions of the challenges the come with working with Japanese studios, to acquiring new titles, to the relative disaster of Hellgate:
We’re certainly sad with the results for Flagship and what’s happened with Hellgate, because at the time we signed it, we were trying to get involved in a very complicated relationship between Namco and Flagship. We were coming late to the party, and trying to do whatever we could to sprinkle the game magic on the project and get it headed in the right direction.
I think that’s an example where all three parties had the best interest of the game in mind, and sometimes the game doesn’t work out. Hellgate is still an incredible concept. The guys who worked on it spent thousands of hours trying to make that concept work, and sometimes we just don’t see something. Sometimes, we just didn’t take enough time. Sometimes, things don’t work out the way you expect.
It’s kind of like a film with all big stars — on the script, it should be successful, but the movie doesn’t turn out as good as everybody hoped. That’s why EAP takes a portfolio approach with its games. You have to place a lot of bets, and hope for a lot of hits.
Certainly worth a read through — I always enjoy reading interviews that cover a lot of ground, and this certainly satisfies in that respect.