One of the giants in the gaming industry, Mr. Peter Moore, is officially leaving the industry today. Announced back in February, Moore said he received, what he deemed the offer of a lifetime. First you must understand that Peter Moore is British and is a huge, no, massive, fan of the Liverpool FC. So when he received the call, and was asked to be (I’m sure an interview was in there somewhere) the new CEO, aka top dog, of his favorite sports team, how could he pass it up? Answer: he couldn’t.
Effective tomorrow, Mr. Moore will be reporting back to his home country and will be in charge of the great Liverpool FC, where he belongs.
A little backstory. If you didn’t know, Moore used to be at Reebok, until he left the company for Sega in 1998, where he was in charge of marketing. This was his first foray into the gaming business, be he seemed to love it, instantly. He loved the fans, the culture and what games meant to people. He came on board with Sega in time to help launch the Dreamcast, which, kicked off with a bang and was well marketed. They sold well, I had one. The problem was no support from third-parties, especially in America, much like Nintendo has had lately. Only Sega doesn’t have Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, Yo-Kai Watch and countless other properties to pimp out for massive amounts of cash with licenses, they only have Sonic. So when the support failed and the initial buzz wore off, the Dreamcast was doomed and it was Moore who was put in charge of informing the press and, for that matter, the world, that Sega was withdrawing from the console business (in January 2001) and leaving it to Sony and Nintendo and soon to be Microsoft, who was in the midst of prepping the Xbox for launch in November of that same year.
For the next two years, Moore stuck around Sega until he just couldn’t take their leadership any longer. He was so frustrated with Sega’s executives, namely Yuji Naka, the creator of Sonic. You may ask why, what happened? Moore was tasked to create a survey for American gamers, where they were asked to put a publisher with a friend or relative, basically, when you think of this publisher, what person do you associate them with… These were just some of the actual results.
- EA – Arrogant quarterback, 6’5″, walks in, gets the girl, nobody likes him
- Rockstar – that’s your drunken uncle that shows up from Vegas once a month with a hooker on his arm and looking for money and then he’s gone again.
- SEGA – Your grandad. Used to be cool, but even he can’t remember why anymore.”
As you can see, Sega, who asked for this survey wasn’t very impressed and refused to believe that American audiences thought of them this way. However, it was true. To which Moore recounted in his own words:
“I said, ‘We need to be incredibly aware of the challenges we face as a brand at Sega,’ you know, and so I play the video. Yuji Naka, Naka-san, maker of Sonic, is in the room. Now, he and I have a love/hate relationship on a good day. And we show him this, and it’s subtitled in Japanese, and when it comes to that piece he just [slams his hand on the table], ‘This is ridiculous. You have made them say this. Sega is the great brand, nobody would ever say this, you have falsified!’ He just gets in my face. So I said to the translator, ‘Tell him to fuck off.’ And the poor guy looks at me and says, ‘There’s no expression in Japanese.’ I said, ‘I know there is.‘ And that was it. That was the last time I ever set foot in there,” Moore explains.
He left for Microsoft one month later.
As you can see, Moore cared about Sega, the brand and what gamer’s thought. Sega, however, did not and it cost them the console business.
While at Microsoft, Moore helped build a strong brand and created excitement with gamers, especially with the now infamous Halo 2 tattoo, which exists in myth at this point as to whether or not it was real. He still hasn’t shown off that arm since. So with such a great performance at Xbox and Microsoft, why did leave for EA in 2007?
You’re beginning to see things come full circle. When Moore joined EA, it was as the Head of the Sports division, including Madden, NBA Live and of course, FIFA. While Moore did get shuffled around to end up eventually becoming the Chief Competition Officer, basically focusing on EA newly-formed competitive gaming division, it was 10 years at EA and when a dream knocked on his door, he answered.
Peter Moore is leaving the gaming industry, where he helped create a great atmosphere, gave some of the best interviews and genuinely cared for gamers. I only met him briefly while at E3 in 2002, but it was a moment I’ll remember forever. He was gracious and willing to say hello to a 22-year old nerd who loved games. Thank you, Mr. Moore.
Here is his farewell video.