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Trip Hawkins to AIAS Hall of Fame

Trip Hawkins Inducted Into the AIAS Hall of Fame is the press release announcing that the EA and 3DO founder is entering the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame, joining previous honorees Peter Molyneux, Yu Suzuki, Will Wright, John Carmack, Sid Meier, and Shigeru Miyamoto. The release outline's Trip's contributions to the field that lead to this honor, which is to be given out tomorrow night at the D.I.C.E. Summit.

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8. A Joke... Feb 2, 2005, 15:07 drone
Someone told me about a "Trip Award" and I thought it was a joke. Then I got the link here and KNEW it was a joke!!!

I worked for years at a division of 3DO that was fortunately far enough away so that we were somewhat free of the Trip madness. We'd have to sit through hours of his long over-head projector and sales talk ramblings maybe once a year, but those who had to interact with the parent company managed to keep the malign influences at a minimum. So we were able to actually produce games on a regular basis, even when there was nothing coming from up north for years at a time (not to knock the folk up there--they were getting set up at first and were definitely ruled by Trip and his pals, so what could they do?).

We were still the red-headed step-child of 3DO. And Trip finally managed to kill us off (in a particularly nasty way--by whittling the teams down to nothing and then making the remnants sell houses and move to another location and then declaring bankruptcy a week after the new offices opened--leaving paychecks unpaid as well as all moving expenses--so that people were stranded).

I guess being at several big name companies and founding a failed company entitles someone to be in that Hall of Fame, since he's done nothing else of note.

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7. Re: The Trip Hawkins E-mail Feb 1, 2005, 22:41 Spectre-7
Classic Trip, sadly.

Portal Runner was going into production around the time I left the company, and a friend of mine was one of the level designers. I seem to recall that they hired some model for the advertising (Anna Nicole Smith perhaps?), and that's also typical 3DO... Spend the money and effort on marketing rather than development. After all, if marketed correctly, you can sell snow to the eskimos, right?

Anyway, it just points to the fact that Trip has absolutely no clue what makes a good game. He used to like personally interviewing new hires so he could feed them the company policy, etc. One of his favorites was to ask "Which is better; A team with a designer who's visionary and really passionate about the game design, or a group of team-players who are all willing to follow someone else's lead?" (heavily paraphrased)

The question existed so that he could tell you that the team players are better, because the passionate designer will be a prima donna and the game will never get made. Can I get a big hooray for sheep? Didn't think so.

At a company meeting, Trip also liked to tell a story about when he worked for Apple. He was sitting at his desk when Steve Jobs walked in and asked, "Trip, have you ever done acid?"

Trip replied, "Ummm, no."

Steve looked at him, said "I didn't think so," and left.

Not sure why I included that one... Still makes me chuckle though. How much does anyone want to bet that Steve Jobs has tried acid?

Just a thought.

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6. The Trip Hawkins E-mail Feb 1, 2005, 14:42 BrushBaron
I'll always remember the email Trip sent to some magazine GamePro (I think) about a game his company released. Apparently the review said it was a bad game and Trip went mad. Ranting and raging for a couple pages in an email about how the magazine was all wrong and they needed to reavaluate where their loyalties were.

Pretty amazing read,

The bold text is all from Trip.


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5. Re: Agree Feb 1, 2005, 09:27 Beamer
nin, that does a huge disservice to Larry.

I was on the phone with my mother a while ago, and she said she had cut out an article on some huge video game guy that I'd appreciate. I asked if it was Trip Hawkins, and she was surprised I knew who he was.

I told her the article was probably all smoke, and that Trip Hawkins was pretty much the video game industry's opposite of King Midas. Everything Trip has touched has failed. Those that haven't failed have succeeded after he left.

He left Apple before the infamous Superbowl commercial. He left EA in 1990 when it was just another publisher. 3DO was a huge failure. Meridian 59 was ahead of its time, but not successful.

He always struck me as vastly overrated. In fact, I'm a bit shocked he's in no way connected to Infinity Labs.

Music for the discerning:
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4. Re: Agree Feb 1, 2005, 09:19 nin
I think Trip Hawkins is a rather unfortunate choice, and his induction has just removed any interest I might have had in their "hall of fame". Having worked for both Electronic Arts and 3DO, and having dealt (infrequently) with Trip Hawkins personally, I strongly feel he's a man with poor judgement and extremely limited vision.

But he liked to talk a lot of smack. Hell, when Next Generation was still around, he'd fart, and they'd publish it.

Trip is the Larry Ellison of gaming. He gets quoted all the time, but in the end, all he does is make a lot of noise.

Mr. Hawkins: Here's your gold plated 3DO. Congrats. Now go away.

May 3rd, 2005 - "We are preparing to destroy you."
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3. Re: Agree Feb 1, 2005, 08:55 BIGtrouble77
Trip and 3do had their chance when their stock soared to inconceivable heights in the mid 90's. Unfortunately, it's apparent that they didn't have any plans for software titles that defined the system. Plus, back then people were not interested in paying $500 for a videogame system, especially one that hadn't proved anything yet.

To Trip's credit, I think the vision of 3do was to become what microsoft is trying to do with the multimedia media center pc. Unfortunately it was 10 years too early. Visions don't make profits, and the technology was just too immature for that system to be anything other than an interesting gaming console.

The decision to turn solely into a software publisher suprised me quite a bit. What suprised me even more was their ability to keep their doors open for so long off of the profits of Army Men and the baseball game. They were, to say the least, pathetic.

The only thing it looks like trip ever did was found 2 interesting companies, one a which other people turned into a very successful enterprise.

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2. Agree Feb 1, 2005, 04:57 Icewind
I was going to mention what a joke he was myself, specifically for a few comments (About RPGs) he made that I once read in EGM. He never seemed like a very sociable man, and this previous poster proves it with firsthand experience.

The 3DO was, next to the Jaguar and the ADAM, the most poorly planned console system ever made. What was their killer ap? Hyper Street Fighter 2? God...I managed a software ect. back tired I got of people talking about that was similiar to how Xbox fans talk about Halo.

...but at least the Xbox has a few other great exclusives (KOTOR1,KOTOR2,Fable). The 3DO was just a joke...plain and simple.

Who's next? Steve "RPGs won't work on Playstation" Race? Howard "fun club" Phillips? John "Daikatana" Romero?


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1. I believe the AIAS is sadly mistaken... Feb 1, 2005, 02:44 Spectre-7
I think Trip Hawkins is a rather unfortunate choice, and his induction has just removed any interest I might have had in their "hall of fame". Having worked for both Electronic Arts and 3DO, and having dealt (infrequently) with Trip Hawkins personally, I strongly feel he's a man with poor judgement and extremely limited vision.

Trip Hawkins is sadly a glorified bean counter, occasionally struck with moments of complete idiocy. To be fair, many of his business decisions throughout the past 2 decades have been interesting, but almost all have met with undeniable failure.

His humble beginnings in Apple Computer were as a financial officer, and giving him credit for that company's successes is border-line insulting to the work of Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs and the entire rest of the Apple engineering team.

Of his work at EA, I can't say anything really bad... Except that I suspect his departure was pressured by stock-holders. This is my own conjecture, however.

As for 3DO... Sheesh. 3DO. A company founded on a couple dreams, a different licensing scheme, and generally poor planning. Their system was developed in the hay-day of Full Motion Video, promising to be the ultimate FMV console system. More of a hardware specification than an actual system, the manufacture of the 3DO systems was contracted out to outside companies (thus Goldstar and Pioneer[?] branded 3DO players), and reached the marketplace overpriced and short on software. The 3DO system was a punchline around the 3DO offices in the years to follow.

As the company reached rock bottom with little hope of any financial success, it managed to broker a deal to sell its new 64-bit processor (the M2) to Matsushita for a cool 100-million dollars, most of which surely went to paying off debts. This was when 3DO transformed into a (crappy) PC game developer and publisher.

Meridian 59 was truly revolutionary for what it was... But again, giving credit to Hawkins for its development is gravely inaccurate. I was an alpha tester for Meridian59 before 3DO PURCHASED it, and it was already well on its way to becoming the game it blossomed into. Sadly, 3DO added nothing but poor support and stagnant development to this ahead-of-its-time title.

As a pc software developer, 3DO was the king of mediocrity. I've never before or since worked for a company that had so little interest in the quality of their own products. Instead, Trip consistently touted the increasing number of (bad) games we produced each year. Amid this slow downhill tumble of product quality, Trip put extra effort into ensuring the continuing failure of his company by abolishing the Quality Control division (called QASR or quasar internally).

Of course, the lynch-pin is surely Trip's small eccentric streak, which led directly to the final destruction of 3DO as a corporation. Originally, Trip had intended for his building to have a live water-stream running through the center of the building... God only knows why. This original idea proved unfeasible, and 3DO instead made-due with a blue lenoleum "stream" that ran from one end of their main building to the next. Years later, amid poor profits and continually dropping stock values, Trip Hawkins commisioned the construction of two brand-spanking new buildings, perhaps out of jealousy of EA's new buildings.

The buildings were finished, as was 3DO within the year.

Yeah, your games suck. You're running out of cash. Let's make new buildings! That'll help.



But he wasn't interested.

3DO closed shop, and Trip moved on to producing mobile games. Perhaps if he ever played a 3DO game, he would have realized they were buggy, poorly designed, unpolished crap.

Thanks for revolutionizing the industry, Trip. I'll see you in hell.

Thanks for reading a very long rant.

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