WiG Weekend: Kathryn Peck, CM for EA Active

Can you tell us a little more about your background in gaming?
Well I was a huge gamer when I was a kid. It’s not something that I spent a lot of time doing as I grew older, due in part to how busy I became with sports.

Did you approach EA Sports Active as a game, or as a part of fitness?

Although EA SPORTS Active was originally made for the Wii, it is definitely a fitness product. We do not see this product as a game and it’s become clear that we have an effective interactive fitness product that has helped many people. As we move forward with EA SPORTS Active 2.0, we will be introducing a heart rate monitor and a wireless tracking system. These new peripherals are going to allow users to track data and get the most out of their workouts.

Do you have a fitness background?

If playing varsity volleyball counts, then yes. I do not have a formal fitness background but I have always been very passionate about sport and fitness. We have a certified strength and conditioning specialist who works here at EA SPORTS – we work closely together on Active.
EA Sports has really marketed EA Sports Active to the female market. What in particular have you noticed about a change in strategy in marketing EA Sports Active and do you see that filtering to other parts of EA Sports?

Many families have a Wii in their house, which was most likely purchased for children. This was a great opportunity to offer something fun and active to other people in the house who may not have typically used the Wii. There are many games being developed for a wide range of people in mind – including women.

What are you most impressed with, with the improvements in EA SPORTS Active More Workouts?

I think it was clear that we listened to our community and implemented some of the things that they wanted to see, like abdominal exercises and warm up/cool down exercises. Stretching is something that many people forget to do post-workout and it’s something that we felt was important to include in More Workouts.

Has the community had an effect in helping EA strive to make an even better EA SPORTS Active products?

Of course! We want to deliver something that people are going to be excited to use as well as something that’s going to deliver real fitness results. We have such an amazing and vocal community and we look to them for suggestions.

Do you see EA SPORTS Active taking advantage of Project Natal and going with a controller-less workout approach?

We are always looking into new innovations and how we can support them, but as of right now we are developing for the Wii and PS3, which will be completely hands-free on the PS3. The program will come with a motion sensor system that will be completely wireless, allowing for complete freedom of motion. As mentioned earlier, 2.0 will be shipping with an innovative heart rate monitor that will track your heart rate on-screen throughout the entire workout to capture intensity and optimize performance.
With so many fitness games now available for the Wii, how do you work on making sure the EA SPORTS Active line grows into more than “just another workout” title?

EA SPORTS Active is committed to developing the highest quality fitness products that deliver real fitness results. As we hit our one-year anniversary, we’ve started receiving some amazing success stories from our community that really show how Active has changed their lives. We continue to be the highest rated fitness product on the Wii which is a testament to the quality of our product.

What advice do you have to women that want to go into marketing for video games?

That if you really want to get into the industry, to get in where you can, be a sponge and prove yourself. You never know which games are going to be created when you start and you may end up working on something that you never even thought possible when you took the job. There are so many talented and creative people in this industry that it’s impossible not to learn something new every day.