Former Xbox and EA executive Peter Moore has revealed in an interview that he once had a clash with the creator of the Sonic games, which culminated in him telling him to “f**k off”. Moore was the President of SEGA of America at the time with the incident taking place towards the end of his time at the company.
According to Moore, the altercation came about in 2001-2002 as a result of the Japanese company not believing that they were fading away and losing ground to their rivals. He wanted to prove this to SEGA to make them take their corporate image in the US seriously and to turn things around.
To help prove his point, Moore asked American customers: If a video game publisher was a relative or a friend, who would they be? The results were what he expected with SEGA coming out as “everyone’s Grandfather that used to be cool.” SEGA’s competitors fared much better with even EA being more popular and Rockstar being everyone’s drunken uncle.
“We did a focus group here in San Francisco, I’m trying to think what year this would be, probably late 2001, early 2002, because I needed to prove to the Japanese that our brand was starting just to fade away,” he explained. “And so we asked [a] focus group, a bunch of 18-, 19-year-olds, a classic question, ‘If a video game publisher was a relative or a friend, who would they be?'”
He filmed the customers’ answers and played it back to SEGA’s head offices in Japan to prove just how bad the situation was in North America for the company. It’s here where Peter Moore and Sonic creator Yuji Naka came to blows, who Moore admitted he had a love-hate relationship with.
When the film was played, Yuji Naka was infuriated by it, slamming his fist on the table and accusing Moore of making the customers in the film say what they were saying.
“[Naka] and I have a love/hate relationship on a good day. And we show him this, and it’s subtitled in Japanese, and when it comes to that piece he just [slams his hand on the table], ‘This is ridiculous. You have made them say this. Sega is the great brand, nobody would ever say this, you have falsified!’ He just gets in my face.
“So I said to the translator, ‘Tell him to f**k off.’ And the poor guy looks at me and says, ‘There’s no expression in Japanese.’ I said, ‘I know there is.’ And that was it. That was the last time I ever set foot in there.”
Despite how things ended at SEGA, Moore admitted that he still loves SEGA but was hurt that he was accused of faking a video.
“I rarely get upset, but to be accused of doctoring a video, because there’s none so blind as those who will not see, right? I loved Sega, still love Sega, but it was dominated by the developers to the extent where Sega as a company couldn’t move if Suzuki, Nakagawa-san, Kazuma Iguchi weren’t into it.”
Following his departure from SEGA, Moore went on to work at Microsoft and EA. The 62 year-old left his post at EA recently to take up the position of CEO of Liverpool FC