EA not totally put-off by 3DO experience

July 13, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

3DO LogoIt’s not often that the 3DO gets any mention in the modern gaming environment.  While other older platforms like the NES, SNES, Genesis, and TurboGrafx-16 are seeing new life with services like XBLA and the Wii Virtual Console, the 3DO is pretty much dead and forgotten to modern console owners.  But, it’s interesting to see that not everyone at EA was soured by their close association with the platform.

Gamasutra briefly asked Frank Gibeau, EA’s vice president and general manager of North American publishing, about EA’s experience with the 3DO and the possibility of them entering into another such hardware partnership.  Surprisingly, Gibeau wasn’t totally averse to the idea:

“I worked on (the 3DO),” began Gibeau, “and I’d never say never. I was a product manager on some of the titles, like Shockwave, and Road Rash, so I was part of that team, building the games, so I’m really familiar with what happened.”

“I think the challenge that we had with 3DO was platform positioning,” he continued. “It was the Swiss Army knife of hardware, and we weren’t really sure what it was supposed to do. I think when we look at our business, what’s vitally important to us is the entertainment and customer connection.”


He’s right on the money about the 3DO’s identity crisis back in the day.  But looking at Gamasutra’s original question, is it even relevant?  Is there room for another platform like the 3DO?  One that’s just a spec that can be manufactured by anyone with a license?  Or, perhaps more relevant to EA, one where the hardware designers depend on a partnership with a separate software company to drive software development?

It worked with NEC and Hudson with the PC-Engine, but I have a feeling that today’s first-party centric market came about for good reason.  After all, who better to build hardware and software than the people that designed the system?

About Tim
My name is Tim. I live in Chicago, IL. I'm a retro gamer.

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