EA’s PR boss has left the company to join sports camera maker GoPro as head of corporate communications.
Jeff Brown gave EA a uniquely aggressive brand of PR for 14 years, leaving no competitor’s rebuke without a rebuttal.
During his tenure, journalists came to regard him as a worthy (if occasionally hated) opponent, whose ample wit meant that even the most unpleasant professional correspondence would usually produce a few chuckles.
When Zynga announced it was entering genres that would put it in direct competition with EA, Wooga, and King, Brown asked Venturebeat if, “Just once, can Zynga publish a game that they didn’t clone from another developer?”
GamesIndustry International recorded one of his best lines when Brown responded to Lorne Lanning’s colorful account of attempt by EA to buy Oddworld Inhabitants.
"We wish Lorne luck on the game and recommend Lithium for the paranoia and Tourette Syndrome,” he said. “Nobody here remembers a jet, a Ferrari or an offer to buy his company.”
Venturebeat reports that Brown left the company in September after his friend and colleague John Riccitiello stepped down as CEO.
“I spent 14 years at EA. The only institution I have ever done longer is my marriage,” he said.
“When I started, I thought it would be a 12-month gig. I had no intention of staying that long. I fell in love with games, and I have a lot of close friends at EA. I am completely supportive of Andrew. But it was a good time for me to say goodbye.”
Brown’s incendiary approach certainly ruffled a few feathers, but he suggests that when representing a company, it’s best to represent them as people worth defending passionately.
"People tend to forget EA is a company full of people," he said.
"They are proud of what they built. When someone attacks it, they respond. EA is misunderstood a lot. It’s a company full of people who are really passionate about games."
With Brown gone, the PR premiership goes to David Tinson, who will head a newly formed global corporate communications group at EA.