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Richard Hilleman is an American computer game and video game producer best known for his work creating the original Madden Football game for video game consoles for Electronic Arts. Apart from Madden, Hilleman was a key figure in building the massive EA Sports brand and has spent over 20 years working in product development at EA. He has directly or indirectly influenced a wide range of games and game designers.
Hilleman joined Electronic Arts in 1982, and was employee number 39. After several years working with producers and teams in a variety of roles (including Ray Tobey and Stewart Bonn on the early combat flight simulator Skyfox), he began producing his own titles in the late 1980s. His first credited title as producer was Indianapolis 500: The Simulation on PC in 1989.
In 1989 he hired Scott Orr to re-design John Madden Football for the fast-growing Sega Genesis. Hilleman had inherited the title from another producer after weak initial sales of the original Apple II version of the game.
Orr and Hilleman together developed the game that we still recognize today as Madden Football, the best-selling title in the history of games in North America. Orr focused, as he had at GameStar, on producing a great head-to-head 2-player game with an intuitive interface, and with responsive controls. Hilleman and Orr played each other continually, honing the design. When the game shipped it was almost immediately a major hit.
Orr joined EA full-time in 1991 after the success of Madden on the Genesis, and both Hilleman and Orr were promoted to senior management roles in EA product development over the following few years. Hilleman was later named Vice President in charge of Production for the company. An avid hockey player during his youth in Minnesota, Hilleman was Executive Producer or Producer for other successful EA Sports titles in the 1990s as well, including NHL Hockey, NHLPA Hockey, PGA Tour Golf and Tiger Woods Golf.
Today Rich Hilleman continues to work for Electronic Arts as Chief Creative Officer, and currently works in the internal University at Electronic Arts on specialized education for Producers and Development Directors. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.