40. Andrew Wilson

Executive Vice President of EA Sports, How To Get To The Next Level

40. Andrew Wilson
Illustration by Alison Cowles


Oversees leading maker of sports games, including the Madden NFL, FIFA, and NBA Live franchises

What’s the greatest hurdle you face in game development today?

“We used to build new games annually: We knew what we were building for, there were two or three platforms, and we knew the times and dates to target. Now we don’t just interact with you once a year, but we speak to you with new content and new forms every day.”

What inspiration outside of gaming do you find most valuable?

“A movie has a hero and a villain, a story, a twist, a climax, and an epilogue. Sports does too. There is this whole ecosystem around sports that exists beyond just what happens on the court. I think, How do we fulfill that story? How do we drive the conversation about what’s important in the lead-up to the final score, and after?”

What can creators of other types of content learn from your work in gaming?

“We’re having great success challenging the status quo. For our FIFA game, we said, “What if you didn’t control all 11 players? What if you control one?’ Skeptics said, “Why would you want to play left back instead of center forward?’ In a world where you play 11 on 11 with friends, playing left back is meaningful. That more than tripled our FIFA business.”

Click here to see head-to-head responses to these questions from Wilson, plus Double Fine Productions’ Tim Schafer, and SuperBetter Labs’ Chelsea Howe, Nos. 39 and 41 on our Most Creative People list.



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