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EA is 'very, very pro independent development,' says DeMartini

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In what seems to be a multiple year-spanning sea change on the side of EA, the company is not only reaching out to independent developers like Grasshopper Manufacture and Valve, but also working with them to keep their properties autonomous. Chris Remo of Gamasutra sat down with David DeMartini, General Manager of EA Partners, to discuss the idea behind EAP and, in doing so, revealed some interesting truths about the EA initiative.

"I think that there is very much a renaissance within the EAP based on the leadership of Electronic Arts ... John Riccitiello and Frank Gibeau are very, very pro-independent development," says DeMartini, referring to titles like American McGee's Alice sequel and Suda 51's upcoming game (still untitled), as well as Valve-developed Left 4 Dead. The "renaissance," he believes, isn't spurred by the way in which the EA Partners program has been set up, so much as it's been a focus on "great quality."

While last year's Mirror's Edge and Left 4 Dead might not have sold huge numbers out of the gate, there is no doubt that their critical reception has been overwhelmingly positive. To add credence to his argument, sales of both titles have held steady as time goes on."What we've proven is that there is no one model. What we have also proven is quality and innovation always win." Not a terrible truth to arrive at, if we must say so ourselves.

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