Another Prominent Name Ditches Tiburon

Posted July 13th, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Add another name to the list of big name departures from the EA Sports’ Tiburon studio in recent months. Mark Turmell is on his way to Zynga where he will be joining other Tiburon vets such as Phil Frazier, Jeremy Strauser, Steve Chiang, and John Schappert at the social gaming giant. Kotaku grabbed the scoop on the news this evening.

Turmell is best known as the creator of the NBA Jam series. He was brought in by EA Sports in late 2009 to oversee not just the NBA Jam revival but – in a creative capacity – other projects being housed at the studio such as Madden NFL, NCAA Football, and potentially the rumored NFL Blitz reboot.

Recapping other recent Tiburon departures: Phil FrazierJeremy StrauserIan Cummings and others to join Philip Holt at Row Sham Bow.

  • Haha

    did he get fired, or did he leave

    • Like all the others he left to take another job. 

      • Joe Whoa

        … at least that’s what we’re TOLD.

        • Pretty much common sense too given the circumstances.

          The info is coming from sources. Not EA who do have a reason to spin the news.

        • Pretty much common sense too given the circumstances.

          The info is coming from sources. Not EA who do have a reason to spin the news.

    • He’s on his way to Zynga, so I’d assume he left on his own. 

      • Anonymous

        Theyre all joining 2k on the backside, waiting to come out with a game that slaps in 2013!

  • Skihawks

    And we will still have Madden, NHL, FIFA, Tiger Woods and other EA games next year.

  • rish

    tiburon really is crumbling

  • maybe its not the dev’s who are responsible for madden being so crappy maybe its true EA makes them rehash old games with 1 or 2 new features that would explain why every game changer only lasts one year   

    • Anonymous

      Nobody gave Dave Ortiz the benefit of the doubt!!!

      These clowns are responsible for the garbage

  • FreshJ

    tiburon must be terrible to work at now that theyre all jumping ship

  • Anonymous

    If haulmiller left I would care.

  • Anonymous

    Lets face it there comes a time when the creative process just becomes stagnant and it becomes evident that in the interest of all parties concerned that there needs to be a change.  The Tiburon team responsible for Madden have been there for a long time and quite frankly I think they were tapped out.  There is only so much one group of guys can continue to come with to innovate a franchise that has been in existence for the past 20 years.

    I think the leaving of these guys is mutually beneficial to all parties concerned.  EA will get to infuse some new blood with fresh ideas for innovating the Madden franchise moving forward and for the devs that left, they get to explore new avenues for enhancing their respective careers.

    Its foolish to think that people in the industry stay in one place forever.  It was time for these people to leave.  The devs knew it, EA knew it and the fans knew it as well.

    • Anonymous

      That boy Daley!!!

    • Keith.

      Hard to say they’re “tapped out,” when all they’ve given us are things like vision cone, Madden IQ, EA Backtrack, etc.

      Seems to me like they’d have to have some worthwhile creative juices in the first place before they can be called, “tapped out.”

    • Anonymous

      All they would have to do is listen to the community. There are plenty of ideas out there for madden. So saying they are tapped out is just a bunch of B.S.

  • Koachvonner

    Somethings not right at Tiburon!!!

  • zzzeric

    zynga? like farmville zynga? Whats up with that?

  • Lonnie

    so pasta can you get me an job application? lol.

  • Keith.

    I’ve got to believe some (all) of these guys aren’t just leaving because they want to try something new, or that that they’re even leaving on their own accord (regardless of what is said publicly).  

    Sales for ALL of Tiburon’s games — but most noticeable those for Madden and NCAA — have been on the decline for years, going from over 8 million sold one year for Madden across all platforms to now hitting 5, if they’re lucky.  Same for NCAA — if you look at vgchartz, which is the only source we have, every one of these games have seen their sales decline year after year after year.  It wasn’t that long ago that EA corporate was announcing annual losses of more than a Billion dollars, so it’s not like the guys who are leaving are doing so after earning EA boatloads of profits these past 6-7 years.

    In any case, I just hope the housecleaning eventually includes donnie douchbag moore and whoever it is that’s made the decision NOT to include in-game saves and a better selection of playable gameplay camera angles all these years on next gen.  

  • Might as well have been David Ortiz.  Don’t let the door hit you on the way out you guys!  It is what it is.  Management (EA) has decided that these guys were not living up to their expectations.  If they fired them, they would actually come up.  Instead, they probably gave them a bunch of b.s. about the future of EA and how it will be run.  They decided it’s not for them.  It’s for the good.  EA is finally hearing us out and want to put this in the right direction.  It’s been 5-6 long years still really nothing to show for.  Competition is caving in soon, this is a make or break for EA. 

    I should know.  That’s how I do with my own employees. 😉


  • Jz

    Everybody at EA blows. Everytime one of these losers leaves its good news for us.

  • Jz

    Hit the road Jack and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more.


    WHY HASN’T DONNY MOORE ‘LEFT’ *COUGH FIRED* YET???????????????????

  • fishman1192

    Good!!!!  Glad to hear the old bunch is gone!!!  Now we can get a good quality product that each hard working consumer deserves!!!!

  • Hungryandrew

    The Rise and Fall of EA Sports!!!!  Coming soon on Blu Ray and DVD!!

  • Gamerzz

    Apparently none of you are aware of the financial situation of Zynga and all these new social/mobile giants right now…and all employees who can get in before this IPO and grab stock options will be worth a gazillion dollars within a few months.

    If anything you should be thanking Tiburon for being awesome since the new top dog (and a competitor where Ian went) is apparently impressed with all their people.

  • Jason Starks

    Hey I know this is late. But I know Turmell personally, it was the lack of control on Blitz, and how his advice wasn’t taken as much as it should in JAM, very different from the way things needed to be done. It was buisiness over fun. He didn’t like that so that is how it is. BUT, look for a new basketball game from zynga down the road… I ain’t say anything 😉