French engineer Luc Barthelet was 35 years old in July 1997 when he was appointed as General Manager of Maxis after Electronic Arts acquired the successful publisher of SimCity.
He has an engineering degree in Mechanics and Electricity from E.S.T.P in Paris, where he studied while developing his first commercial software. Luc's software startup was acquired by Electronic Arts in 1988, and he has worked for EA ever since, first leading the development of Paint products, then the internal development of games as CTO and then managing the Entertainment Studio in San Mateo. You can find Luc almost everyday in the chat rooms in the SimCity communities.
A brief history of Luc at EA and penned by Bing Gordon follows:
Luc sold his company “Version-soft” and its high quality Paintworks product line to EA in 1988, when Electronic Arts still had ambitions to be a leading artist tools company. It was EA’s first studio acquisition, so the successful integration was crucial to EA’s strategy of building out a “federation” of studios around the world. After building Studio 1, Studio 8 and Studio 32 for EA, Luc led the successful reverse engineering effort that established EA as a player on the Sega Genesis console market. As CTO for EA’s 3DO division, Luc led the team that built the development tools and artist workstation for all 3DO third party software companies, and developed original games like Shock Wave. He also broke his leg in a horrendous wind-surfing accident, cementing his reputation as a daredevil. When EA jumped on Playstation, Luc was group executive producer on several big hit entertainment titles, including EA’s first million-unit non-sports game on Playstation, Soviet Strike.
After running the due diligence on the Maxis acquisition, and determining that Sim City 3000 could be saved (!), he took the reins as EA Maxis General Manager. His inspirational leadership was key to getting Sim City back on the top of the PC charts, and launching The Sims to greatness. His role on the success of these two landmark games cannot be overstated: it was Luc’s vision to launch Sim City 3000 with an internet “metagame”, and then to blog directly to the Sim City community to build a user-generated content community and exchange around Sims skins.
Luc has also led several new research directions for EA, from Earth and Beyond (Westwood’s first MMO), The Sims Online, Sims console, robotics, and most recently, EA-Land, with his hallmark intelligence, trust in his teams, and deep commitment to Mathematica, robots and sailboats.
Contributed by Jeanne (75666) on Jul 06, 2003. [revised by : Cadillac (12) and Sissy Phillips (1)].