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Author Topic: A loose end to tie up from the old PCF days  (Read 3419 times)

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Offline Bret

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A loose end to tie up from the old PCF days
« on: November 06, 2014, 01:33:19 PM »
I'd been thinking whether or not I should share this here, or share this ever. But, I've decided that maybe I should share this, and I feel this place is the most appropriate. I don't have a lot of unfinished business from the PCF days, but this one has been stuck in my craw and I'm now after all these years I'm going to let it out. I usually told folks what was going on, and why, but this one I kept under wraps for reasons that hopefully will become clear to you as I tell you what happened.

EA had an employee named Nathan Farenhold. Part of Nathan's job (or maybe all of it, I don't know) was to be a liaison between EA and the certain fansites, like PCF and Maddenmania and the one run by Andy P that changed its name every week. He would send me out some promotional stuff, like a sneak peek at the forthcoming game, and cool little trinkets like mousepads and such. He also gave me the occasional access to a developer on the Madden game, or at least someone who worked on the project.

You guys from the old PCF days may remember that, throughout the year, we would keep a couple of lists; one list for suggestions for improvement for next year's game, and questions to ask for a forthcoming interview with a developer/project manager/whatever. Well, it was '04 I think it was, and the time was upon us to set up a Q&A with someone from the Madden project. Previously, Nathan had been VERY good getting back to me quickly whenever I needed something. This time around, not to much. I thought perhaps there was a new guy or maybe Nathan was on vacation or sick or something, so I drilled for info as to what was going on. Turns out Nathan was still at work, in his same job. So, I sent him a tersely-worked email saying I didn't appreciate being frozen out like that.

His response....he was "busy" (but apparently he wasn't busy before in previous years or something), but then he went on to say that Branda and Andy said that I was bad and some of the other posters on PCF were bad and the site was bad so he was cutting us off. We never got EA cooperation for the rest of the time I owned the site.

I never said anything for a couple of reasons. First, I didn't want Branda and Andy to know that they had that much power over the fortunes of PCF (even though chances were good that they already knew). I didn't want to "put it over". Second, I didn't want to give ammunition to all the assholes that seemed to think that I was single-handedly responsible for all of society's ills. I could hear it now..."See, Bret is killing his own site. He drove EA away. He's a bad person blah blah blah".

I said I have regrets about PCF. This is one of them. No, I don't regret anything that may have been said or done to make Branda and Andy go to Nathan and tell them to cut me off. I regret not being transparent about it. While looking back I understand the reasoning I had, I did not maintain my pledge to be transparent. I should have told the people loyal to the site what was going on, and why.

I'm not embarrassed about it, because other than keeping the secret I didn't do anything wrong. To me, the fact that EA cut us off says absolutely nothing about me, and says absolutely nothing about PCF or anyone who posted there. I don't even think it said very much about Branda or Andy. It said everything about Nathan. Nathan was responsible for his own actions and for making his own decisions. Allowing Branda or Andy (let alone both) to make his decisions for him shows Nathan had a very weak character. Sure, Branda and Andy were assholes that acted out of malice and nothing else, but Nathan should have been man enough to make his own decisions based on his own observations, and not what a couple of strangers told him. To the best of my knowledge, Nathan NEVER looked at PCF a single time.

When I think about this situation, to me it partially clears up why EA stopped putting Madden on the PC. If Nathan is the type of person they employ and trust to give them information about the market and what it wants, it is no wonder why they're so horribly out of touch.

Offline Crewe

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Re: A loose end to tie up from the old PCF days
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2014, 05:37:19 PM »
Those times were brutal.
I remember as the war was developing, I tried to stay out of the fray as much as possible. I wasn't aggressive at MM or any other site as I liked people from all sides.
But once the hammer fell, I was swept away with what became the PCF guys. What bothered me, albeit on a smaller level, was the fact I was guilty by association.
It was very bitter from then on as I recall.
I can remember us all discussing everything and agreeing to continue to be civil, even when those trolls would infiltrate PCF with their flaming vitriol, in the hopes things would level out, but they never did.
While I was happy at PCF and really enjoyed everyone (and still do, those that are around) it was obvious that we were not going to be in the fold of the community.
Once our input died down I figured something childish had to have taken place but never knew what exactly.

Offline Bret

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Re: A loose end to tie up from the old PCF days
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2014, 06:09:01 PM »
Yeah, those were shitty times. Or, maybe good times infiltrated by shitty people.

Now that I actually typed this out, I think something else may have been going on, too. Admittedly, this is just speculation on my part, but it fits things I know to be fact. EA, at least those who wrote the football games, always seemed to have a bias against the PC. That was abundantly clear. I think once Branda and Andy got in Nathan's ear, Nathan probably thought to himself "We're EA, and PCF is all about the PC. Since we don't give a shit about the PC, and PCF doesn't give a shit about consoles, then that's all the more reason to cut them off".

I looked him up, and his name is Nathan Fahrenthold. So, apparently I've been misspelling his name. One look at his LinkedIn page shows that his career has come crashing down since he left EA, but he is making a desperate attempt to make his subsequent jobs look as if they're something meaningful. He is far from the first person I've seen try to do that with their resume.

Irrelevant side note about LinkedIn: I personally don't think it means shit. But, I hate how one can recommend for someone but can't recommend against someone. I think if you're gonna go there you should allow both sides. But, I'm not a hiring manager so what do I know?

Offline Crewe

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Re: A loose end to tie up from the old PCF days
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2014, 11:44:26 AM »
running with the LinkedIn thing, I don't like it, but I have it on the offchance for business.
I've picked up some work from it but not much, but its funny because I get endorsed by people that don't even know me.
In my experience, people by and large dont take those business social networks seriously. I know I don't.

Online rollntider

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Re: A loose end to tie up from the old PCF days
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2014, 04:09:14 PM »
interesting on the EA thing. I wondered what happened. Yeah we acted a bit childish, but i think it was fun overall and enjoyed my time there. I wished it had stayed open though.



Offline Crewe

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Re: A loose end to tie up from the old PCF days
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2014, 07:25:11 PM »
see I don't think we did, not inasmuch as I knew.  Now I recall a few times trolls coming in and instigating trouble and some got pissed off when we called them on their BS, but I thought we were pretty civil.
There were a few that were really offended that we genuinely laughed at them instead of taking the bait and that got ugly on their part.
Perhaps I just pull happy memories lol

Offline Bret

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Re: A loose end to tie up from the old PCF days
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2014, 12:23:45 AM »
Childish? I have to disagree. But, even if we were, again, Nathan should have been doing this own thinking and making his own judgments rather than delegating his thinking to someone else.

David Branda would never admit this out loud, but I have absolutely zero doubt whatsoever that PCF made him regret his indiscriminate serial banning. He thought he had the power to keep people from discussing Madden on the internet, or god forbid say something unkind about him or one of the EA sacred cows...and we took that power away from him. He thought he was king of the community and that he had full control over it, and we showed him that very much wasn't true. Whatever PCF was, whatever it is we did or didn't accomplish, or whatever PCF's legacy is, we'll always have that to figuratively hang our hat on.

Online rollntider

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Re: A loose end to tie up from the old PCF days
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2014, 12:38:30 AM »
I said a bit, not totally :)



 

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