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The Pursuit

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Apr 18, 2013

The Pursuit

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I mentioned that I went up to Redwood City this week to get a glimpse into what the folks at EA Sports are working on for FIFA 14. I had never been to their Redwood campus, and let me tell you – it it impressive! The campus is massive and it’s basically it’s own self sustaining city. Beyond the sheer amount of buildings and size of it all, there are arcades, video consoles everywhere, food and beverage options at every corner and a feeling that something cool is being done here. I got a brief tour of things, shot an impromptu round of hoops and then headed into a nondescript room for a presentation on FIFA 14.

There were a handful of us there, and we get taken into a small conference room and are huddled around a conference table with a TV and projector. Sebastian Enrique (the producer of FIFA 14) takes over and starts giving the presentation. This is a man who is clearly passionate about the game (both the actual sport and the video game he is in charge of). His excitement for the next iteration of FIFA is contagious and his love for the sport is beyond question. During the presentation he flips back and forth between highlights of actual games and intersperses those with examples of how these real world examples are being adapted to FIFA 14. Engaging stuff from an engaging person.

And while I’m focused on the presentation, and present in the moment, I can’t help but think about the countless “Sebastian’s” in the sport. The folks that are involved in the game that the average fan doesn’t think much about. We all focus on the players and the coaches. And that’s understandable. They are the ones we see on TV. They are the ones that the media hones in on. They’re the focus of post game interviews and the ones that provide the sound bites that we all clamor after. But they are not the only ones who make the sport what it is.

There is a wide swath of folks that work tirelessly, passionately to grow the game. The behind the scenes people that help make the sport what it is. I can’t even begin to list the amount of people involved in the sport who spend their time and energy focused on things that the soccer public never thinks about. Sebastian was a reminder of this. He and his teams devotion to digging in and finding tweaks that they can do to provide a better user experience for the video game they are so committed to. A slight tweak here, a modification there. A deep desire to do the best that they can in the area that they are involved in. All in the pursuit of being honest, loyal and respectful of the game.

We may not always think about the people behind the scenes. But these folks tirelessly work to make the sport what it is today, and to drive it going forward. I went to Redwood City to see some of the things that we can expect from FIFA 14, but I left more inspired because of the team behind the game.

Next time you got to a game, or watch one on TV, take a moment and think about all the people who are dedicated to the sport. Dedicated to making sure your consumption of the game is as great as possible. These are the folks that are helping build and grow the game and it’s an inspiring and humbling thing. Without dudes like Sebastian, the soccer sphere would be an entirely different entity.

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