Madden NFL Taps MLB: The Show Lead Designer As New Creative Director [UPDATED]

With all the the turnover experienced at EA Tiburon this past year, it looked as if the Florida-based Madden NFL developer was attempting to imitate Phillip Rivers’ current season with the San Diego Chargers. Most notable of the comings and goings were the departures of executive producer Phil Frazier and creative director Ian Cummings, who have been replaced by Roy Harvey and Mike Young, respectively.

Now, according to Pastapadre, it looks like yet another personnel move has occurred. One of MLB: The Show’s lead developers, Kolbe Launchbaugh, confirmed today in a tweet that he’ll be leaving SCEA for the, shall we say, greenish pastures of Madden NFL. “I accepted a position with¬†#EA as a Creative Director on the #Madden franchise,” he said. “I begin my Madden journey Jan. 9th!”

New Madden NFL Creative Director Kolbe Launchbaugh

A 15-year SCEA veteran, Launchbaugh served as the supervisor for MLB: The Show’s design while it rose to enjoy unrivaled genre success over the last half-decade.

Interestingly enough, however, current Madden NFL designer Mike Young has tweeted that he’s not going anywhere, stating, “nothing changes for me.” As Pastapadre points out, this could indicate a split initiative with one director working on the current-gen Madden while the other works on it for next generation consoles. Although, it could also be that the sudden news has left the staff waiting to prepare an official statement.

What do you think about the direction Madden NFL is taking with its development team? Is there anything more to the fact that Young denies any changes occurring for himself? Sound off in the comments or join our great community in the forums!

[UPDATE]: Just as we published this article, Pastapadre has reported that Launchbaugh will be working on next-gen development projects. The timing would indicate that something is in the works for the Wii U and long term plans may include the PlayStation 4 and the next Xbox.

In addition to being an editor for Stick Skills and a connoisseur of all things awesome, Brian is also studying business at Iowa State University. His Xbox Gamertag is Sidewinder57 and you can follow him via Twitter: @Brian_Sipple by clicking the little orange button in this box.