What does a producer do?

Every once in a while I see the question on twitter, what does a producer do? It seems to not be as easy to understand as for instance an engineer (my personal description of an engineer: “does magic with code”)

While updating the Maxis job listings I saw listing for Gameplay Producer that explained very well what a EA producer does, thought I would share it.

Producer

An EA Producer is responsible for ensuring the successful delivery of a game to a high creative standard. Producers oversee the whole lifecycle of the game from concept to launch. Their role is to ensure that Game Designers clearly define the game concept (i.e., its ‘X’ or the unique idea that makes it stand out from other games), and the market positioning of the game (including defining the target audience). The Producer must then ensure the games quality stays on target throughout the whole development process. Producers provide the link and liaise between the development studio and the marketing and sales departments. They work with marketing to ensure the maximization of the game’s marketing and advertising strategy and budget. Producers also co-ordinate the release of screenshots and demo discs with the game’s marketing manager, coordinate the outsourcing of audio, cutscenes, and language localization, and oversee focus tests on early versions of the game.

Role Overview

An EA Producer leads the production team to the timely creation of a product line that is marketable by EA, with a strong emphasis on strategy elements, replay ability, entertainment value, and effective use of hardware and software interfaces. Work closely with the Executive Producer and Creative director to deliver a high quality game that meets the set vision. Work with team on sprint planning, scheduling milestones, and writing user stories. Quality is extremely important to the project. The Producer will be responsible for delivering features to quality and on time. They will need to organize user tests and analyze feedback to ensure the team hits the quality targets that have been set.

I see them as the middleman, responsible for a certain feature. Working with a small team of audio/engineers/animation/etc to make that feature. Making sure that it is fully worked out with humour, as it is maxis after all, and that every part of the team has all the tools they need to function.

There is also this video that explains it almost as equally well however it is not specific for a EA/The Sims/SimCity producer.

After watching that video, make sure to hug our The Sims producers on twitter =)

Author: sww

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