EA CCO Hilleman: Zynga 'looks like an EA satellite operation sometimes'

Zynga vs EA
If you look at Zynga's history, it's more intimately involved with veteran games publisher EA's than either let off. The former has bitten off more of the latter's top talent and executives than we'd like to count, but names like Bing Gordon, John Schappert and Barry Cottle come to mind. During an interview with VG247, EA CCO Richard Hilleman addressed this fact rather candidly.

"A lot of the early Zynga employees are actually ex-EA employees. In fact, it's almost disproportionate," Hilleman told VG247. "It looks like an EA satellite operation sometimes. What I think we did is we were aware of what they were doing. We were aware of the numbers they were describing. But we, in most cases, could not independently verify any of the things they said. And so we were skeptical until we could independently approve what we saw."

But the publisher has learned from those early snafus, and is now the second biggest U.S. company in the social games world. Of course, that's thanks to two key acquisitions: Playfish and later PopCap. But EA also looks to do something interesting in mobile and social games on a scale that few else probably could.

"So I'd say what you've seen happening in EA is the mainstreaming of social gaming," Hilleman said to VG247. Between a Dragon Age Facebook game, numerous social and mobile companion games to the upcoming Mass Effect 3 and games like The Simpsons: Tapped Out, we can see what he means.

What do you think of EA's approach to social and mobile gaming? Which of EA's games in either category is your favorite? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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