Gibeau: “You get the best games from small teams with strong cultures”

EA Labels boss Frank Gibeau doesn’t believe in throwing bodies at successful development teams, instead hoping to preserve each studio’s culture by appeasing its existing talent.  “My philosophy has been to get into a position where you have the right team size and the right amount of time to deliver on quality,” Gibeau told VentureBeat in an extensive interview.

“Doubling the team doesn’t get you – you can’t deliver a baby twice as fast. There’s a point in time where too many people get on a project and the law of diminishing returns sets in. Quality declines if it becomes too hard to manage. You’d rather have a smaller team with a longer period of time to work on a game.”

On top of that, it’s easier to maintain a unique culture when teams are kept small.  “My belief is that you get the best games from small teams with strong cultures. The developer culture is critical in getting quality and to intellectual properties that sustain,” Gibeau said.

“In the case of each of those studios, they were given the opportunity to continue to invest in their culture, to expand and bring new talent in. The trick is not to let them overexpand and get too big. They should only take on projects that they have the right amount of talent and technology and leadership to be able to execute at high quality. The worst thing to do is to grow them too fast.”