Xbox Live, MS Game Studios chief defects to EA

Just weeks after he presided over Microsoft's E3 event, John Schappert has returned to his former employer as its new COO; predecessor lands at social-network game maker.

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Earlier this month, John Schappert presided over Microsoft's jam-packed press conference, which saw the unveiling of Crackdown 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Halo Reach, and the motion-sensing Project Natal. Ironically, supervising the event would be one of his last duties as corporate vice president in charge of Microsoft Game Studios and Xbox Live.

EA COO John Schappert's Microsoft executive headshot.

Today, in a shock announcement, Electronic Arts announced that Schappert has been hired to be the third-party publisher's chief operating officer. If that sounds familiar, it's because his job before going to Microsoft was as an executive vice president at EA overseeing its company-wide development and online efforts. Prior to that, he was COO of EA's worldwide studios.

"We are thrilled to welcome John Schappert back to EA," said EA CEO John Riccitiello in a statement. "He has a great track record as a leader and innovator in our industry. His years of experience with EA and in Microsoft's Xbox business provide him great insight into recognizing what consumers want." For his part, Schappert said, "I've got EA in my blood."

Schappert's appointment as EA's COO is doubly surprising, given his predecessor's high profile as of late. Just last week, ex-EA COO John Pleasants presented the company's agenda at an investor conference where he revealed the existence of Battlefield 3 and Criterion's takeover of the Need For Speed series.

As for Pleasants' fate, EA's announcement said only that he would "be leaving the company." However, a near-simultaneous press release touted the executive's new gig as CEO of Playdom, a social-gaming service that makes titles playable on Facebook and MySpace.

Schappert's departure also echoes that of current EA Sports president Peter Moore. The longtime Microsoft corporate vice president and tireless Xbox 360 promoter also left the software giant for EA shortly after touting the Xbox 360 at an E3 presentation (back in 2007).

Discussion

112 comments
beak1313
beak1313

the economy sucks!! And money is over rated, just make games and we will all be happy!!

Manatassi
Manatassi

@thorsen-ink The point is you are platform agnostic, I have no argument there. However you clearly write your news titles in such a way that it makes the story sound more dramatic. It has nothing to do with platform bias and everything to do with sensationalism and stiring up a load of angry fanboys to get attention. This story is one of the less dramatic there are plenty of other examples I just happened to comment on this one.

Hazzerz
Hazzerz

Who cares at all about this? Just make games. I don't give a damn who does it.

invictuslemming
invictuslemming

Politics, trying to understand what happens in the upper echelon of any of these multinational corporations just hurts the brain. Not that any of these changes will affect us though, the games will still be made as they always are. Of course each time we hear news like this it can easily be translated to "Corporate exec gets pay hike"

matelian
matelian

dont care who goes where just bring Dante's Inferno to PC EA

thorsen-ink
thorsen-ink

I mean would "resigns," "quits," or "leaves" be any less dramatic?

thorsen-ink
thorsen-ink

Maybe I read too many cold war thrillers, but I think "defects" is totally appropriate--he left one organization for another. How is that not defecting? It's a little colorful, sure, but it's a pretty dramatic event in the industry--head of MGS and Xbox Live leaves just weeks after being MS's biggest champion at E3. It's Peter Moore all over again. A total shocker. Anyway, I don't my choice of words is misleading or sensationalizing the events in the article--which, as always, are presented without bias (we're platform and publisher agnostic).

solidstein
solidstein

well hopefully EA will turn it around even more there doing a great job so far i think. my ranking of the mega third party publishers is 1. EA 2. TAKE TWO 3.UBISOFT 4. SQUARE ENIX 5.ACTIVISION which is moving down fast all they care about is money not making good games so it sucks. i mean who turns down brutal legend cuz they cant exploit it every year thats just craziness

Melty123
Melty123

Jumping from one huge company to another than coming back well it's his choice but I don't think it's good for his reputation to change company so often.

ChudWarrior
ChudWarrior

OK that had nothing to do with Crackdown 2 which is why I clicked this link.... I do not really care about the buisness side of gaming and what the CEO's and coo's are up to at EA. A release date for crackdown 2 would have been spectacular though.

Beesters
Beesters

EA is taking over the gaming industry...simple as that...but as of late, their products have been excellent as of late, especially sports...NHL 09, simply awesome..Tiger is addicting, the new madden looks promising..they are doing a great job, keep up the good work EA, as long as you put out great games, I will always be a buyer

BenBenBen93
BenBenBen93

EA must be paying him a hell of a lot.

rock_solid
rock_solid

everyone at EA should defect, so they go out of business.

Xaviersx
Xaviersx

But to the consumer, can you say that his departure matters to us? Was he another figurehead or a visionary? If he's the one who came up with microtransactions, . . we'll he's a special target . . . or just another guy following the money . . . or just looking for a change?

blackace
blackace

Yeah.. 'defect' is a bad word. Executived bounce back and forth from company to company. This isn't a big deal. An executive from Activision or Ubisoft may replace him at Microsoft. Who knows. This is just business as usual. Not really major news, as it's not going to effect either company much.

Mudvayne84
Mudvayne84

Did you really have to put "Defects" in the article title? Its just business.... other than that, interesting article

boyplaybox
boyplaybox

this is actually a good news for microsoft with more ex-microsoft guy working for EA espc in top post,we would see most of new EA games to be release on xbox360...priority over other console it was actually the opposite,EA defected to microsoft

SuperGogeta24
SuperGogeta24

"defects to EA" are you stupid? he worked for them in the first place and it has no effect on anything he's just a beureaucrat of the gaming industry

lukas1051
lukas1051

And how will this affect... anyone? Oh wait, it won't. Never even knew the guy.

Manatassi
Manatassi

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

swamptick
swamptick

It's nothing big............ It's business, Things like this happen...........

cspiffo
cspiffo

Interesting. Good luck with you new gig Mr. Schappert. Nice promo!

ottumatic
ottumatic

You have to question Gamespot's professionalism when they uses words like 'defect' in their article title... Leave the bigotry to the blogs and be more factual with what the words used in your news articles.

dbpvivi
dbpvivi

@Jawehawk-DK "if EA ever were to team up with MS things would look bad. EA might start to....." start to what?. EA are the worst of all publishers. They just buy up developers.l. They are like the black sheep of gaming.

xTheExploited
xTheExploited

@Jawehawk-DK, What companies don't love money?

Jawehawk-DK
Jawehawk-DK

if EA ever were to team up with MS things would look bad. EA might start to be money loving like MS.

pakhair
pakhair

It's nothing big............ It's business, Things like this happen...........

NBA_Jammer
NBA_Jammer

For some reason I read the title as "defecates" instead of "defects." :-P Title makes it sound like GS has something against EA. Gotta be more unbiased like FOX News. ;) Anyway, sounds like a promotion. COO? Did a great job, deserves it.

cockneyscouse
cockneyscouse

He's going to be hard to replace. LIVE has done extremely well under his leadership.

monco59
monco59

"I've got EA in my blood." You know, there's a cure for that, John.

monco59
monco59

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

abosh1
abosh1

wow, EA and Microsoft.. two massive companies

dkslade
dkslade

now since EA couldnt buyout take two. they will go a step forward and partner with MS to force EA only sports games on the console. but it will cost a steep price.....

enraged-killer
enraged-killer

every couple of years MS sends their vice president over to EA hmm might be just me or, i think EA and MS are planning something BIG... think about it. well we will know for sure if MS sends over another vice president to EA 2-3 years from now.

NeonNinja
NeonNinja

OOOHHHHHH!!!! EA and MS to merge and become bigger than Activision-Blizzard, baby! You heard it hear first, 2010, it all goes down! :P

Pete5506
Pete5506

This could be a good thing or this could be a bad thing

konradak
konradak

Hmmm.. I wonder what this means...

kytomasi
kytomasi

So its a Job switch, why is it called Defects? This is not a movie this is real life. Maybe they will pay him more, better benefits for his family and better location. Let the guy change to whatever company he wants without labeling him as an Defect.

benjy117
benjy117

@lamprey263 - I don't know who you are calling at Microsoft but I can't understand anyone there. They are as bad as Cisco's support! You need to google customer service ratings. You will then see who's the worst... they may not be on top but should be in the list. Trying to manage an I.T. department and getting to understand them is time wasting! The would not even ship me a return box for my xbox because some indian person put the wrong address in the field an submitted it. I had to wait over a month just to get the damn box so it took two months. I even found a number to a repair center in Texas and called.. guess how I was greeted ... NO ENGLISH! If you think Microsoft has good support you obviously never had to deal with them. IF you say they are excellent then your obviously just a freakin fan boy.... I'm no fanboy but come on... Microsoft is known everywhere for their horrible support.

crimped
crimped

CEO's are like a sewer, smelly, disgusting, and filled with S***. but necessary.

PS3_3DO
PS3_3DO

Does that mean EA 360 games are going to be better than the PS3 ones. :D

Flat_Line_____
Flat_Line_____

LYTEK Posted Jun 18, 2009 10:08 pm ET He probably left cause Microsoft's new stuff might not be any good...I dunno, just a guess. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- LOL, I know you said it's just a guess but I have to say, Do you think any of the CEO's for most major companies really CARE about the quality of the products they hype up? NOT ALL, But very few care about anything other than quantity and profit. The same reason he left whoever he worked for before MS is the same reason he left MS to go to EA, A bigger paycheck. ( I can't say that I blame him, who doesn't want to make more money.) I just laughed though when a comment about caring or having any real interest for the product they sell and CEO were in the same sentence :). The guys that truly care are the ones hunched over a PC for 12-16 hours straight each day TRYING to make a decent product. Anyone much higher above that area of production is thinking in a totally different manner.

mjpatrick
mjpatrick

Hmmm ... might have been Racing "Destruction" Set. So long ago ....

mjpatrick
mjpatrick

Ever since Adventure Construction Set and Racing Construction set for the Commodore 64, EA has disappointed me for years. Madden, meh; NBA Live; meh. However, two games have excited me as of late. NHL09 was high quality, and then made this little gem called Dead Space. I'm a little over half-way through and I'm loving it. EA's back to a level playing field for me. Let's see what happens.

gtaking40
gtaking40

EA has done nothing but go downhill over the years. All they care about is the greenbacks. They just keep pushing out games for that reason alone.