EA Launching Its Own Competitive Gaming Division Headed by Peter Moore
"[W]e're committed to creating even more opportunities for you to connect and compete."
Most every major gaming publisher in the world has expressed its support of esports, including Electronic Arts. The company today took the first step in demonstrating how serious it is about that, launching a new Competitive Gaming Division within the company.
CEO Andrew Wilson announced the news today in a blog post, revealing that COO Peter Moore will be leaving his current post to head up the division as executive vice president and chief competition officer. Wilson said "this group will enable global esports competitions in our biggest franchises including FIFA, Madden NFL, Battlefield and more."
He added, "EA's CGD will seek to build a best-in-class program to centralize our efforts with new events, as well as the infrastructure to bring you the world’s preeminent EA competitive experiences."
Wilson also highlighted three "core pillars" for the CGD. Here's how he described them:
- Competition: To create highly-engaging competitive experiences with our games, officially supported by Electronic Arts.
- Community: To celebrate, connect and grow our community of players across all levels of expertise.
- Entertainment: To develop live events and broadcasting that bring the spectacle of competition to millions of people around the world.
Joining Moore will be Todd Sitrin, a longtime EA veteran who most recently served as its senior vice president of product marketing. With the CGD, he'll assume the role of senior vice president and general manager.
Moore will continue in his role as COO through the end of the current fiscal year, which runs March 31, 2016. He'll then move to heading CGD full-time.
EA isn't the first big company to form an esports division, with Activision also having done so in October.
Last year, EA said it believed that esports were going to continue to grow and expressed interest in expanding its focus on them. More recently, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen revealed the company plans to "up-level" its esports levels on a "global level."
In an interview with IGN, Moore said that placing an emphasis on esports is nothing new for EA.
"Prior to the formation of this division, conversations have been had, not just within the last few weeks but in the last couple years, about how we've got games that are coming to market in FY17, FY18, and FY19, and making darn sure that if you're in a genre that lends itself to competitive gaming, you better have those modes built in," he said, referring to modes that "lend themselves very well to competitive gaming."
He also went on to suggest that EA could build an entire game that's built specifically for the esports audience. "I think there is a huge opportunity to build a game from the ground up that says, 'This game is gonna have five modes, like capture the flag and tower defense,'" he said. "I don’t know, things that people love, we'll figure all that out."
We'll have more on EA's plans for CGD as they're announced.