Responding to Pro Evolution Soccer lead Jon Murphy’s allegations of copy-catting, key EA Sports representatives have had only warmth and gratitude for the FIFA rival.
“We’re not going to stand here and say anything. We’re very respectful of PES and we understand we have a very strong competitor,” FIFA 13 producer Nick Channon told Eurogamer.
“We know they want to make a better game every year and ultimately that drives us forward.”
Channon’s approach was also espoused by other EA excutives.
“I had the great fortune of leading the [FIFA] team as we went head-to-head with Konami,” EA Sports head Andrew Wilson said.
“I had the greatest amount of respect for them then; I thought they built a tremendous game. I continue to have the greatest amount of respect for them today.”
Matt Bilbey, EA Sports’ football leader, agreed.
“We were fortunate to have Konami as a competitor, because it motivates you – you can’t win unless there’s someone to beat,” he said.
Bilbey also noted that Murphy is a tremendous asset to the PES team.
“I hope the management team in Japan appreciate what [Jon Murphy has] been giving to that franchise for a long, long time. He’s very, very committed and a great spokesman for the game. I feel for him sometimes, because I’ve worked with developers that it’s challenging to listen to, or they don’t necessarily listen to you,” he said.
Murphy gave a quite bitter interview last month in which he claimed EA Sports copies features wholesale from PES, fumed over FIFA’s exclusive licenses, and made vague allegations about marketing – but also admitted that PES hasn’t always lived up to its promise.
FIFA 13 launches in late September, and PES 2013 arrives in early October, both on a variety of exciting platforms.