Rich Hilleman, the chief creative director of Electronic Arts, has a big task: getting the company ready for the future. He has to navigate the waters of the social and mobile revolution while also keeping core gamers satisfied as the company’s products shift to blockbusters-cum-online services.
In this interview, Hilleman — who has been at the company since the 1980s — looks back as well as forward, reflecting on how the company’s success on the original PlayStation and Sega Genesis taught it lessons that are still relevant today.
“Increasingly, free-to-play games, social games, mobile games, even the DLC and online play that drives consoles today, are good examples of the things we need to start considering to design around,” says Hilleman. But is the company up to the challenge?