EA Sports’ executive exodus continues as former Madden NFL executive producer Phil Frazier has resigned.
Since April 2011, EA Sports has lost the producer of troubled basketball sim NBA Elite, Madden’s creative director and EA Sports’ Chief Technology Officer and EA’s chief operating officer John Schappert. Ian Cummings and Richard Wifall joined social media startup Row Sham Bow, while Schappert headed to Zynga. Frazier hasn’t yet said where he’s going to land.
Madden NFL 12 releases August 30, 2011, and the recent string of departures is raising plenty of questions about the franchise’s future. Frazier told Kotaku there are no hard feelings between he and EA. Frazier said after 14 years at EA, it was time to do something else. Whatever the reasons, there is a whole lot of change going on at EA Sports. Roy Harvey, executive producer of NCAA Football, is moving into Frazier’s old position. NCAA Football 11 got some sterling reviews, so now Harvey is going pro.
The turnover and NFL labor strife are no doubt making this a more stressful year than usual for EA Sports. Still, Madden NFL is a sales juggernaut. It ranks annually among the top selling games and has become a cultural phenomenon. People call in sick to work. Real NFL players call EA to complain about their ratings. One even boycotted the game to protest his rating. There will likely be even more of that this year. Madden NFL 12 contains not just player ratings but player tendencies, including negative ones such as dropped passes or folding under pressure. EA Sports and the Madden franchise will surely be able to recruit new blood. Madden is the gaming equivalent of the Pittsburgh Steelers. There’s never a shortage of talent wanting to join the team. Madden NFL 12 comes to the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2, PSP and PC August 30, 2011.