Interviews

Peter Moore: 'What was I thinking!?'

Interview: The EA Sports boss is not happy. CVG finds out why...

Peter Moore is not a man used to making blunders. This is embarrassingly conspicuous when you're a shoddily-bearded games journalist sat a mere metre from his boardroom-conquering glare.

His immaculate suit, spit-polished shoes and trim frame are a window onto the industrious, dynamic manner with which he tackles life - an approach which physically leaves him looking every inch the EA Sports Active evangelist.

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You don't need to study the Xbox alumnus' intimidating CV to know that he's very, very rarely wrong; and that when he does make a mistake - whether personal clanger or public, heartbreaking belief in Sega's Dreamcast - he's certainly not in the habit of letting the gaming press take advantage.

Yet here he is, sitting acutely dejected - if polite and attentive - in his London hotel room, telling CVG all about his most recent slip-up; one so tormenting, so deflating, it's left him croaking: "What was I thinking!?" to a hack evidently on the prowl for a decent headline. Mission accomplished.

Within three minutes of our meet, he's also mumbled "I... just... I just don't know what's happening to them," in such an uncharacteristically enervated and subdued style, I almost feel sorry for him.

This downbeat atmosphere is made all the odder by the reality that Moore should be grinning like a Cheshire cat on nitrous oxide.

As we speak, EA Sports' tent-pole release, FIFA 11, is poised to crash through the one million UK units sold barrier after just six days on shelves. It's grossed over $150 million and shifted 2.3 million units worldwide. Its opening weekend saw over 11 million online game sessions, and it's had 60 reviews with a 90-plus score - including CVG's 9.7/10.

Where's Peter Moore the sanguine motor-mouth, I wonder? Peter Moore the slayer of scribes; the man who can go toe-to-toe with the world's best story-hunters and leave them licking their notebook's wounds? Why is he so carelessly, mournfully dispensing vulnerable soundbites right into my lap?

TAKEN AS RED
Because of bloody Liverpool FC, that's why. Moore's beloved Reds are having a torrid season. Their latest indiscretion was to toss away a home tie to Premiership minnows Blackpool - and he's still feeling it.

It's not just the result, either: Moore donned an orange tie to an EA shindig the night before - and the similarity between its hue and that of The Seasiders' sunburst uniform wasn't lost on the company's eager-to-rib football nuts. "What was I thinking!?" Quite.

Our opening exchange has hardly been conducive to the triumphalist game of word ping-pong CVG was expecting, then. But suddenly, just as we're about to blurt out our first question into the grumpy silence, Moore perks up; and that got-you-in-my-crosshairs smile cracks back into shape.

"I've got a blue tie on today," he observes. "Bloody Everton. Not much better."

Football - and more particularly, Liverpool FC - really matters to Peter Moore. He won't thank us for saying so, but whenever he discusses his beloved Kop, or Pepe Reina, or Roy Hodgson, or League Cup ties against Northampton, Moore's San-Fran-by-way-of-The-Wirral accent breaks; and the Scouser inside takes full control.

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