Today is Peter Moore’s last day in the game industry. He signed off with a farewell letter and video, stating that he’d had a great time, claiming little credit for the work he’s done these past two decades.
I've interviewed lots of game industry execs over the years. Peter Moore was one of the more entertaining. Like most business people who talk to the media, he usually had a script to follow, but unlike most, he was happy to abandon the PR lines when he felt the urge. He seemed to actually enjoy the back-and-forth of interviewing. He's a keen sports fan and a competitive person, and he brought this to all aspects of his work in the game industry.
I interviewed him maybe half a dozen times. I'd always come away thinking I'd gotten the better of him, but when it was time to listen to the transcript, I was mostly disabused of my confidence. He dodged and weaved, feinted and shadowed.
At industry parties, he'd always come up and say hello. There'd be some banter, a slap on the back, and off he'd go to the next person. Moore was well-liked. In a business where connections matter, he knew how to turn this to his advantage.
In a video he posted on YouTube today, there are lots of photos of him on stage at E3, hawking the newest games and hardware for his various employers: Sega, Microsoft and Electronic Arts.
He had the pizzazz to bring a little extra to these occasions, which are so often populated by awkward, besuited men staring empty-eyed into a teleprompter. Moore looked like a man who was happy to be on stage. He became something of an icon, even appearing in cartoon form on South Park.
After today, he's gone, to work as chairman of the soccer team he adores, Liverpool FC. Moore was born in Liverpool, worked as a gym teacher, got a master's degree in California and then spent some years as an exec for sports show manufacturers. He made the jump to video games in the ’90s, when execs from proper, grown-up industries were much in demand.
In his letter today, Moore praised gaming and the game industry's creative talents, setting out how he sees his own contribution. "I am crystal clear in understanding that I was merely the front man for your brilliant achievements, the 'suit' that sometimes did goofy, cheesy stunts and speeches to draw attention to your phenomenally creative talent."
Moore was a cheerleader for the companies where he worked. He was often the target for abuse from social media haters, absorbing grief on behalf of companies like Electronic Arts. In his letter today, he urged gamers to be more positive in their interactions. “If a game disappoints, provide constructive feedback, not the vitriol that is unfortunately so prevalent nowadays.”
He also wrote, "I shall miss everything about this industry each day, henceforth."