Published on April 24th, 2011 | by Shopmaster2
Cam Weber Talks About His Vision, Duties, and Passion for Madden 12
With the departure of Ian Cummings last week that sent the Madden Community asking a lot of questions like “How does this affect Madden?”, “Who takes his place?”, “Will this delay Madden?”. Well Cam Weber was able to answer those questions as he talked with the press a couple of days ago.
First, who is Cam Weber? Cam Weber is the GM of football titles at the EA SPORTS Tiburon Studios. Cam is responsible for overseeing both NCAA Football 12 and Madden NFL 12. Cam has a plan and he wants to focus on “investing heavily in the core gameplay.” Sounds like my kind of GM.
I read two good articles that did interviews with Cam Weber that I really think you should check out.
Here is an excerpt from Kotaku.com
“Fundamentally, you’ll see improved collisions, and significant improvements to the defensive AI,” Weber said, and indeed, the AI tuning and these collisions – less of the “suction” tackles caused by certain animations - have been touted for Madden’s Tiburon sibling, NCAA Football, which Weber also oversees. “We’ve also done a lot of work on how players perform throughout the game; we’re diving deeper into how they perform as the momentum of a game changes. You’ll see a ton of improvements in our Franchise and Superstar modes. And we’ll have a new feature in how our players play the game online as well. But I can’t get into more detail than that.”
The online feature, Weber said, is not some type of “Autolog,” the social networking feature of Electronic Arts’ Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit which, among other things, helps players compete asynchronously – i.e., they don’t have to be online at the same time to beat a friend’s best time. Weber, at last week’s “Season Opener” event in San Francisco, complimented Autolog’s innovations, and suddenly that meant Madden was getting the same thing this year, if not at the expense of something gamers wanted more.
Weber said he was only reacting to a question that directly mentioned Autolog, and that Madden, broadly speaking, will begin serving more ways for gamers to compete online than simply head-to-head games with friends, or finding strangers in an online lobby. As for what is coming in Madden 12, “I wouldn’t compare what we’re doing this year to Autolog.”
And then came the mention of the Three Year Plan, something that didn’t land gently on ears when it was first mentioned at Season Opener. EA Sports has in the past publicly committed to long-term development goals to rejuvenate certain series – FIFA and the dormant MVP Baseball most notably. With Madden, the title most stung by “roster update” criticisms, on the boards this sounded more like “Wait until Madden 14 comes out.
Read the full article here: http://kotaku.com/#!5794980/ea-sports-football-czar-opens-with-a-two+month-drill
The other article is from The Fantasy Football Informer. Here is an excerpt form that interview with Cam Weber:
Cam was quickly put to the test in his new role. His first challenge: the NFL lockout and the possibility of having no NFL football this fall. When I asked Cam about the lockout and if there was going to be any interruption to Madden NFL 12’s production his response was short.
“Not at all, it’s business as usual. We’re charging ahead.” It is no secret that the lockout is the most significant problem that EA is facing, but that it is not stopping the team at Madden NFL 12 from producing a great game.
But when creative director Ian Cummings announced his resignation last week Friday from EA Tiburon there was immediate Internet speculation that the new release date for Madden NFL 12, that was announced just days prior, was related. I asked Cam if this was true.
“There is absolutely no link between these two events.” Cam described Ian as “talented” and that he would be missed. “We thank him for all the time he put in and all the effort he put into the Madden franchise over the years.”
Cam explained to me that this is common for the industry that they work in, and that video game companies compete for to obtain talented individuals, and that Ian simply pursued another opportunity. The creative director role has been assumed by other designers and Phil Frazier, who is the executive producer for Madden NFL 12, now has the role of coordinating the creative teams involved.
As for the re-release date, it was decided upon long before Cam arrived at Tiburon. The new date was chosen to align with NFL events such as the festive NFL Kickoff week. It simply made sense from a marketing perspective for EA to run their events simultaneously with NFL events.
Even with the loss of a creative director the game has not sustained any lag in production, nor have any of the new additions by the creative team been removed. Cam mentioned that the game is in its alpha phase. Now it is just a matter of playing the game and finding out what needs to be fine-tuned.
I asked Cam if a new creative director would be announced soon, but Cam explained that is not a current priority and instead will be done when the production of Madden NFL 13 begins. That is what makes Cam the leader of the team, because he recognizes a need and addresses it when it is the right time to do so.
You can read the full article here: http://thefantasyfootballinformer.tumblr.com/post/4846117491/ea-sports-football-gm-cam-weber-talks-about-rumors
From those two article it would seem that both football titles are in good hands with Cam Weber at the reigns. Let me know what you think after you read both articles in their entirety.