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Former Exec Says Electronic Arts "Is In the Wrong Business" 180

Mitch Lasky was the executive vice president of Mobile and Online at Electronic Arts until leaving the publisher to work at an investment firm. He now has some harsh things to say about how EA has been run over the past several years, in particular criticizing the decisions of CEO John Riccitiello. Quoting: "EA is in the wrong business, with the wrong cost structure and the wrong team, but somehow they seem to think that it is going to be a smooth, two-year transition from packaged goods to digital. Think again. ... by far the greatest failure of Riccitiello's strategy has been the EA Games division. JR bet his tenure on EA's ability to 'grow their way through the transition' to digital/online with hit packaged goods titles. They honestly believed that they had a decade to make this transition (I think it's more like 2-3 years). Since the recurring-revenue sports titles were already 'booked' (i.e., fully accounted for in the Wall Street estimates) it fell to EA Games to make hits that could move the needle. It's been a very ugly scene, indeed. From Spore, to Dead Space, to Mirror's Edge, to Need for Speed: Undercover, it's been one expensive commercial disappointment for EA Games after another. Not to mention the shut-down of Pandemic, half of the justification for EA's $850MM acquisition of Bioware-Pandemic. And don't think that Dante's Inferno, or Knights of the Old Republic, is going to make it all better. It's a bankrupt strategy."
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Former Exec Says Electronic Arts "Is In the Wrong Business"

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 15, 2010 @07:23AM (#30777204)

    Activision just said they crossed $1,000,000,000 (over one billion) in MW2 revenues. Just saying..

  • by f0rk ( 1328921 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @08:46AM (#30777658)

    The problem with EA (for the studios) is that EA screams louder.

    What is the first thing you see in a EA game ? That damn EA logo, then for a slip second, you see some random no name company (the studio).

    The game publishing industry is trying to mimic the movie publishing industry by doing the classic " presents... a movie"-introduction.

    By sad part is. The avarage gamer is a lot less intrested in who made the game, then the avarage movie enthusiast. So they only notice the EA logo and get reminded to turn off all brain activity for 5sec because, well, every one hates waiting for the game to start.

    The movie industry can do this because its more or less part of the build up, and for the enthusiast, its just another reminder that this movie is made by the awesome studio, .

    Back in the old days. A game would open with the studio logo, and if the publisher is lucky enought, they get there very own screen to present there name, else they would just have to do with a "published by" in the end credits.

  • by cheesybagel ( 670288 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @09:57AM (#30778256)
    Well, Blizzard made also made The Lost Vikings. I thought that was pretty good.
  • by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @11:41AM (#30779386)

    Food is genetically mutated.

    Food has been genetically mutated since humans began farming. Or did you somehow think that previous generations of humans turned those wild plants into the common food plants we know today through magic?

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.