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E3: EA's DeMartini - EAP is a 'Backseat Driver'

Speaking to Gamasutra during EA's E3 press event, EA Partners senior vice president and general manager David DeMartini likens the company's third-party approach to "backseat driving - better than front seat driving."
Speaking to Gamasutra during EA's E3 press event, EA Partners senior vice president and general manager David DeMartini discussed the differences he finds in EA Partners' developer relationships versus the old ways, as well as the methods of other third party publishing arrangements. "I think there’s a very specific difference in how EA Partners approaches the partnership," said DeMartini. "Previously at EA I think we always needed to have our hand on the steering wheel, yet when you pick some of the best drivers in the world in the independent game development space, you don’t over manage it. You kind of back away and give them a tremendous amount of room." When gamasutra likened the analogy to backseat driving, DeMartini responded, "Backseat driving better than front-seat driving, where you’re both trying to steer at 80 miles per hour with all your hands on the wheel!" EA Partners' notable products recently have included the retail version of Valve's Orange Box package, the recently picked-up Brutal Legend, and the upcoming untitled Grasshopper Manufacture production with Goichi Suda and Shinji Mikami. "So yeah, I do think it’s backseat driving to the extent that if someone leans back and asks “should we go left or right?” you offer that advice," said DeMartini. "Otherwise you just sit in the back seat and shut up." Gamasutra inserted a quip regarding EAP being chauffeured to its destination, at which DeMartini joked: ""Exactly! Ride on their coattails, it’s a great strategy!

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