oh, I called it! Here it is in a nutshell, the next couple of moves for both EA and ATVI
A Designer who had originally built only 1 mission on Halo was promoted by then manager John Batter, who had a hard on for Hollywoodesque big talent. John poured milliions into James Bond over Medal of Honor. This mean that less experienced personal got bigger salaries than the MOH teams. The designer "Dan Orzlak" experience on 1 mission in Halo was quickly used to calm DANJAQ's butterflies. He was promoted to Design Director. Although very personable, he only understood Halo's systems superficially. Why? Beause he was never a system's designer. Boom, fast forward to the next project.
The Producer pretty boy from marketing (insert his name) and Dan came up with a game called "vertical" that never saw the light of day. Neil young then moved them to Tiberium. While Neil squashed the old guard and created his own kingdom, FEAR fell upon all those working on Tiberuim. In other words no one wanted to make a design decision.
5 years later, Dan and team had changed the weapons 5 times. Hired a myriad of clown hack jr designers, all who wanted to be the "AI designer!" Dan was let go, and in came Tim Coolidge, who left after 2 weeks.
The company tried to hire experienced designers instead they hired a couple of more less than jr designers to save the project, one was let go after 1 week (please post why) I believe they came from now soon defunct Spark Unlimited.
The new lead designer Andre Garcia was left at the helm with 1 month to save the a doomed project full of hacks. BTW Andre was probably the only real working experienced dev on the team.
At the same time, MOH's creative director Jon Paquette who never wanted to be a designer in the first place, left to his long wishes of becoming a wannabe writer. The MOH team for the first time ever, used the same technology to create a prototype. You see every previous MOH game the engineer felt compelled to "refactor" and "redo" the entire engine, those rooks!
So the MOH demo rocked making Tiberuim team look like they've had their amateur thumbs up their nice asses. What are the execs and stock holders to think? James bond gone to ATVI because of a misplaced design director and now millions lost because of a jr team?!
In other news, ATVI is literally violently working on their newest Call of Duty which from what I heard is going to be the most VIOLENT game ever! Not a surprise that HBO wanted the same thing for Band of Brothers Pacific, which was canned.
Will COH PAcific ship at the same time as Speilberg's new BAnd of Brothers Pacific (Which happens to be super violent as well?)
Will we see cannabilism and toasted people?
This goes to show you as my predictions said.
-EALA will shut down, the RTS team is great but only sells 1mill units, hardly enough to stay in business for EA
-Tiberuim shuts down, lays off jrs, moves experienced to MOH
-MOH team is moved to Pandemic, keeps same GM as Exec Prod. on new IP.
-EA Casual, which has now hired a horrible ex Brasher SR Prod Trujillo, will also move to Pandemic.
All in all the house that MOH built has fallen to horrible hands of horrible Producers and every worst hiring practices. Hey EA next time check mobygames on the resumes!
Interesting comments by the above poster, who if you worked with him are not SHOCKED to know who it likely is.
The thing is, Tiberium, along with MoH and all EALA/EA games, have one core fundamental problem, and that is an unnecessary and bloated amount of management. They not only gobble up the project budget while they contribute nothing to the project but needless and uninformed change, they at times only can survive by doing so, and thus are forced to, less they appear "uninvolved."
While many of the above statements are true, one statement needs corrected. An opinion shared across the team except by a select few, is that the "jr." designers, some with 10 years or more experience in the industry, were far more knowledgeable and proven than their lead Orzulak, or his student of the fine art of smoke screening, Andre Garcia. This was not only supported but reaffirmed by other level designers brought on loan from the Medal of Honor team, also with far more experience than their leads. Since you talk of MobyGames'ing a resume, you'll find Andre Garcia, a QA tester for nearly a decade, quickly went from nothing, to a design lead position, thanks to his friend Dan Orzulak.
However, despite the narrow focus of the above poster, the demise of this project, and others, was in the hands of a higher pay grade than is likely visible to the above poster. Previous games such as MoH:A survived even less competent design leaders, such as the aformentioned Jon Paquette, a creative director with even less design experience than Orzulak. No, this would not ordinarily be enough to sink a ship at the well funded studio...
The real story of Tiberium's fate was a project being led by these incompetent leaders, as is par for the course at EALA, but was recognized as an opportunity for a new team of management to make a powerplay for their own development team. At first they made the right moves to win over the crowd, eliminating Orzulak, "pretty boy EP," and their "no action is the best action" technical director, along with demoting the similar philosophy senior development director in one fell swoop. The team rejoiced, and invested their full faith into the newcomers...
While their hostile takeover of the team would include the clause they had to save the project, it was in their best interest NOT to be credited with the mess left behind by their incompetent predecessors. When the title ships, no one outside the studio knows what really happened on the project, all they know is who is in the credits. It's one thing to have your name on a disaster, but it's entirely another if you didn't create it.
Every step of the way, the new management team sabotaged Tiberium from intentional failings of milestones from day one, to laying off of key contributers to its success so far at the desperate end. If you want to know who wasn't pulling their weight on Tiberium, they were the last ones left. Up until the last day you could walk around the office and look into almost any cube at random, witnessing people surf the web, due to purposely misscheduled workloads. If the above poster wants to know why that one designer was let go, it was because he was the last one doing his position, and without him, the work could not be done.
This is how the new management team brokered their own team, and at the same time quietly took Tiberium out back and put it down, so they would not be known as the owners. They got field promoted to captains, then sunk their damaged ship, so they could take their new titles on to a fresh vessel, and killed all the witnesses.
No need to be upset... it's just business.
I've personally worked with Andre Garcia on MOH European Assault, he is one of the few able bodied level designers.
Jason Alejandre "Dre" was another designer of high experience, nearly 10 years who was misplaced creativly. He just recently quit.
How can a designer of 10 years be ignored? In the past there were many other great designers in EALA's history that were misplaced from Lynn Henson (the original designer on MOH) to Aaron Casillas (yes old man c, always pushed for the facts, best levels at EALA too), Johnson (24hour worker), Castro (script master), Church, Bass, Berger, Dell the list goes on and on.
The problem was the EA PRoducer crew, who are these fucks? I mean these are people who can't engineer, cant make art or design, so guess what they produce and run the shop...how stoooooopid. Versus look at COH4 EXEC PROD Sam Nourani, he came from teh depths of QA hell for years, he earned his keep....EA prods are just armchair gamers. There is a reason why COH4 was #1, because it was made by people who love games and put REAL time into the industry. EA not so much. Look at PAtrick Gilmore and his cronies they are just pretty boys, they don't know games, period. Rex Dickson? He was the cause of the fall of Turok 3, WTF?! Now on MOH, check mobygames, unless he lied on his resume like the other half of the EALA crew.
One of the greatest goof ball stories about designers had to be the bungling on the recruitment of Jeremy Luyties and Mike Denny. Two designers who were offered 5g to move to EA from Grey Matter on the basis that 5g is EA. How STUPID!
I was peronally angry at this bullshit move on two create designes and tactical hires. 5g because its EA? Gimme a fucking break. Should have given them 20g each and destroy ATVI.
HR was at fault here, and upper management should have offered each 20g's. Why? Because each eventually went on to work on MOH's competition and one of them is now the Creative Director on the next James Bond, which EA lost. You see what I mean, superior incompentance at EALA. That HR person is now working at Microsoft on the HAlo team, expect more stupidity.
Imagine that 20g inc salary would have disrupted ATVI's business for the next 8 years! But I guess not...EA rooks.
Andre stepped in when Coolidge left after a couple weeks to goto Monolith. What could he do? Coolidge move was probably a salary raise, I can not blame him at all. The grades at EALA have been jacked up for years. I personally know and heard that the jr designers were fighting over all wanting to be the AI or the "systems guy." Stupid.
On Jon Paquette, well, he was much loved by management, to the point that one time he recieved "employee of the month" even though he was out sick with ulcers for that entire month! I've personally also sat in a lot of meeting where these guys LIED through their fucking teeth to management about what was going on....You have to be kidding me! Alot of the designers forementioned would stand up to Pacquette and Dickson alike to correct their bullshit.
I recall a meeting where they wanted to cut some of the better and fundamental mechanics in moh...now they take credit for them!
I personally recall having a discussion which turned into an arguement with Orzlack about the number of hours the MOH team was putting in.. I use to walk around this area to see it empty for months...He claimed he was working, but his door was always closed and no one was home. While we slaved away on MOHEA he was gone....that was a fight to remember. I hardly talked to the guy after that....
Unfortunately, in EA culture, telling the facts is a NO NO. You must always paint a pretty picture otherwise you are a Naysayer. Talking about the FACTS and the Pink Elephant in the room is a no no as well. IT will Kill your Career.
They'd rather spend hours with 20 designers in one room trying to figure out the simplest of systems. Or hire a group f story board artists to design out the mission tempo, HOW STOOPID.
Why does this happen? Because EALA has never really had a real Design Director with Creative power. Just a crows nest of Producers.
In the final analysis, EA needs to start to having a written test for designers to weed them out. Being a tester or a USC grad does not make you a designer. 3-4 years exp min to be accepted.
Cut your producers, Cut all your Dev Directors sans 1 per team.
I'm ticked because I own stock and after looking at how poorly it is now, I want heads to roll, I expect EA to have the most experienced people ever.
Having worked on 3 MOH's and with most of the people mentioned here...I can say that 80% of what's being called out here in true with regards to how things were run. Calling out people individually at any level below EP or Senior Producer isn't really necessary. Calling out how teams are organized is totally call for. Managers upon Manager upon Managers fill the cubes at EALA and I'm sure many other EA studios. There would literally be charts printing on the massive plotter printer with a full on flow chart of who was managed by who. I'm not joking. Combine that with putting creative control in the hands of movie directors, business men and ass clowns in general and I don't see how we ever even shipped a game. Spinning our wheels on one level for months showing it to people through the studio and the company desperately waiting for approval. Kind of like a kid making his first turkey hand drawing picture in kindergarten. Demo after demo after demo. Process after process after process. Then after we wasted all of our time doing that and the come to jesus "we need to get this done by X date to hit our numbers" we'd have about 5 months to make a game. Show me any company with any level of experience that could build a good game in 5 months.
Sound about right to everyone that worked there? I could go on and on but I dont work there anymore. I'm just validating the people who have the guts to post here.