This weeks 20 Questions will be with Bobby Miller (Global Community Manager at EA on Origin & EA Access)
EA Origin is digital distribution software by EA, which allows gamers to purchase games and content for PC and Mobile devices. You just download the game or content to your PC or mobile device, and then play, no need to get a psychical copy! Origin has features such as friends list, chats, direct game joining, along with achievements, cloud game storage, auto patching, and rewards. Currently Origin has over 470 games and over 50 million registered gamers, 22 million of those on mobile devices. About 5 million folks use Origin daily, and last year (2013) gamers logged over 1.3 billion game sessions on Origin! For a system that just came out in 2011 Origin seems to be on the right track.
On the other end, EA Access is a subscription based service for video games. From buying either a month to month($5) or yearly($30) subscription, gives you access to games, discounts(10%), early releases (a week) and other incentives. Currently their are seven games available on EA Access; EA Sports, UFC, Battlefield 4, Madden 25, FIFA 14, Peggle2, Need for Speed Rivals, and Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare. Games are downloaded and stored on your hard drive, and as long as your membership is active you can play any of those games. If you cancel your subscription, you will not be able to play the game, but all saves and achievements are saved so if you buy the retail edition you can continue playing where you left off. EA Access is another great way the EA is helping to make gaming easy, enjoyable, community focused, and accessible to all!
Moving on to the 20 Questions with Bobby Miller [BM]
1) What was your first video game? And online one?
BM- First game I can recall playing is Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back on an Atari 2600. First online game I played was the multiplayer component of the original Delta Force on PC. Shooters and I go way back!
2) What was that first experience on Delta Force like to you?
BM- It was hard. Incredibly hard. But it was so cool because it was interactive (and Star Wars!), so I couldn’t stop playing it.
3) Rainbow 6 Three changed gaming forever for me, how did (first online video game) change you?
BM- It showed me that games could have a certain intensity that I never experienced before, and it made me want to be competitive, to show others I was better. The novelty of playing online with strangers was so cool to me, but making friends though those games made it all next level.
4) With how far gaming has come in last 20 years, the next 20 will be extremely promising, imagine your a game maker in 20 years, tell me about your game.
BM- I want future games to not only look fantastic, but to feel seamless. No barriers, everything should feel natural. Even today there are still occasional hiccups and limitations that take us out of the experience, and I want future tech to remove those limitations.
5) Social media is shaping the way we play and interact with games, what do you see as biggest advantages and disadvantages may be?
BM- The biggest advantage is bringing people together to enjoy games together. When it’s easier to share experiences, more people will want to join in on the fun. The biggest disadvantage, as we often see, is when the technology is abused to grief players who are just trying to have fun.
6) As a community manager what would you like to see more of from the community?
BM- Understanding that making games is hard work, and that sometimes when tough decisions are made, they’re made for the right reasons!
7) what was your first job?
BM- In my final years of high school, I worked as a projectionist at a local movie theater. Free movies all day long, it wasn’t a bad gig!
8) And your first one in gaming?
BM- I worked at AMD for a while in the FirePro graphics division, which was sort of gaming related. But joining THQ as the community manager for Company of Heroes was my first big gaming gig.
9) What did you learn at Sega that helps you today?
BM- SEGA taught me to think globally. While at SEGA, we had to work closely with SEGA of Europe and SEGA of Japan on many things, and you quickly learn how to better develop content that speaks well to a truly global audience. It was a fun place to learn and grow!
10) What is your favorite online map in a first person shooter and why?
BM- Without question, it’s Facing Worlds from the original Unreal Tournament. The map was balanced perfectly for CTF, and the music. Oh man, the music. I love it so much.
11) What game is in your console right now ?
BM- ….I don’t even know. I’m a PC gamer through and through, and despite owning all of the current consoles, they don’t get much play out of me J
12) What is your go to vehicle when mobbing with friends online?
BM- Any kind of aircraft if I can get my hands on them (though, I should say, I’m a pretty terrible pilot in Battlefield)
13) Mash up map, if you could merge two BF maps which two would you merge?
BM- Hainan resort and Zavod 311, they’re my two favorite vanilla maps!
[P4D] Mine would be Davad Peak on top of metro match B to B.
[DM] Oh, that’s a good one. Propaganda on top with a subterranean Operation Locker.
14) What was your favorite game and why?
BM- Split between Half-Life and Half-Life 2. Those games rule, and they changed my life.
15) What was your favorite old school game released before next gens (before ps3/Xbox360) and why?
BM- Sonic 3 and Knuckles! It’s flawless.
16) If you owned your own company what would your next game be? pitch it to us in one paragraph.
BM- A fully 3D, open world, massively multiplayer remake of Pokémon Snap.
17) With the social media what it is now, and the previous banning of users for comments in the forums at EA, does the future have EA policing us on social media over users opinions and comments?
BM- We don’t look to silence opinions or comments anywhere. You’ll never see us delete negative comments on Origin’s social pages. Your voice matters to us!
18) Do you think Origin can improve on its customer service? how?
BM- I honestly feel that we have the best customer service system in the entire games industry right now, but there is always room for improvement. With Origin specifically, we’re working hard to reach out and help users on social media, and to have faster turn arounds when users request help from us.
19) Sonic or Mario? Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat?
BM- Sonic without a doubt! And I grew up a Street Fighter kid, but I love both franchises.
20) Sitting where you are (in gaming) what can we as a community do to help game makers? from communication to building a game for the gamers vs for the company.
BM- Proper feedback is always key. Feedback helps us as a group because it’s you, the users, gamers, and fans, that know what you want and can help us understand how we can make your experience better. We always want to improve, and listening to the community is always a great first step!
Thanks for reading folks, till next time plug in your mic and play with someone!