This is a very interesting discovery; originally, we was supposed to be getting a sequel to the PS3/360 title The Saboteur. After the development of the original wrapped up, work on a sequel started regarding looking for a new creative director.
Was there a particular reason that you stayed in Australia after the closure of Pandemic, as I half-expected you to go back to the States?
Well Pandemic in Los Angeles did offer me a job, which I took [in early 2009]. So I went over there and worked there for a week, but I got the smell of death. So after that week I turned the job down. I was supposed to take over as the creative director on The Saboteur DLC and then on The Saboteur 2. That was what they wanted me to head up.
Then the process would turn into them regularly being overruled by forces inside EA that had nothing to do with development. Like marketing people or Frank Gibeau [president of EA Studios] and any other number of useless and dangerous idiots.
So after a week of watching that process happen, or it might have been two weeks, it convinced me that I could not make games that way. My job as a lead [designer] has always been to empower other people and be the “shit umbrella” – that is the term you use for that role in big companies. People who are very far from the details will try and shit on your project from above and your job is to collect all of that shit and make sure it runs off the side and doesn’t get on the team. And I am pretty good at that. But ultimately I need to be able to tell people, “you are in control of this,” for that to be true.” Because that is the only way I know how to get results.
This is very interesting to hear, as Pandemic was soon shut down after the release of Sabeoteur despite the game critically doing well.