Command & Conquer 3: Come say hi to Greg
TomChick - News - 02/14/07 - Link

Amer Ajami used to be an editor at one of the sites I wrote for way back when. I'd see him at press events, and he was always one of the more personable guys in the business. In fact, he was so friendly and well-adjusted that he seemed entirely out of place. "What are you doing here?" I wanted to ask.

He's a producer at EA now, and has been for some time. But it's always strange seeing him there, presenting a game. I feel like he's standing on the wrong side of the business. "What are you doing over there?" I want to ask. But he's one of the guys who presided over the creation of Battle for Middle Earth II. I can't fault anyone for standing over there next to that game.

I was at EA recently to take a look at Command & Conquer 3. The actual license doesn't do anything for me, but ever since C&C: Generals and then Battle for Middle Earth II, I've been delighted with the stuff coming from the RTS developers at EALA, nee Westwood Pacific.

After showing me C&C3, Amer said "Come say hi to Greg."

I don't really know anyone else at EA except the PR folks and Amer. "Who? I don't know any Greg."

"Sure you do," he said, leading me through the giant C&C 3 banners and the cubicles. And there was Greg. Greg Kasavin, sitting at a desk in a cubicle at EALA, being an associate producer on C&C3.

I've certainly had differences of opinion with Kasavin, but I've always respected how seriously he took his job at Gamespot. If there's one thing you could say about the guy, it's that he played the hell out of a game before passing judgment. If for no other reason, that sets him apart from the people who work on the side of the business where I'm still standing. And he wasn't reviewing just to goof off and dismiss something with a declaration that it sucked or it rocked. As dry as he could be, he had insight and he really cared.

Probably the last time I'd had a conversation with Kasavin, it was at a press event. We were off in a corner like the dorks we are, pretending we wouldn't rather be someplace else. He was looking down into a coffee cup, shifting from foot to foot, wondering if he'd rated Impossible Creatures too high. It's the kind of dorkly thing I totally understand.

I'm genuinely glad to see Kasavin at EALA. I hope it doesn't swallow him up -- that's a big brash place over there -- but that side of the business needs more guys with insight, who also care, and who also know games as well as he does.

So all this is by way of saying I'm looking forward to C&C3 not necessarily because of anything about the game itself, but for the caliber and reputation of the people working on it. You can read my preview on Yahoo.

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