From the EA team:
When we were exploring early design concepts for our Multiplayer, we really wanted to figure out a way to give some players the sensation of being in charge of your team. One of the key design tenets of the Campaign mode was building and commanding your own crime family, so bringing that to Multiplayer made lots of sense. Also I really think that wagering is such a great tie-in to organized crime. I had worked on a feature back on the Simpsons game called “Hand of Buddha” and I really liked the eye-in-the-sky view that it gave the player. I put two and two together and figured if we could do something similar in Godfather but add a commander type feel to it we’d have something really special.
Prototyping Don Control started right away with the help of one of our talented engineers, David Brickhill. He was able to get me a moveable camera in a multiplayer map and then gave me the ability to drop a waypoint from that view. We started playing around with it inside Multiplayer matches, but we weren’t really sure if it was going to be fun yet. Then Dave came up with the idea of "gadgets" that the Don could trigger if his teammates captured them down on the ground. This is when I knew we had a great mode.
The wagering idea was one that we really had to kick around as we weren’t sure if we were going to be allowed to do it for legal reasons... (for some reason online gambling makes lawyers really nervous). Turns out we’re cool because you’re just wagering the money that you earn from single player and online and not real money. It took our legal department a little time to wrap their heads around it but once they understood what we were doing they said it’s fine. Yeah! Wagering is so much fun as a Don, it adds an entirely new level of intensity to a Don Control Match.
Godfather Multiplayer is really fun. I love the fact that players earn honors and cash which goes directly back into their single player Campaign and gets your crew members new guns - Don Control just takes it up another level. When I sit here in the design area and watch the testers ask their "Dons" for a heal or a bulletproof vest and I can hear the Dons issuing commands or marking enemies on the screen I realize that this is going to fit quite nicely in the Godfather universe.