In an interview with IndustryGamers.com, the CEO of Electronic Arts, John Riccitiello, has stated that the company initially ‘bet on the wrong horse’ at the beginning of this console-generation. Expecting that Sony’s Playstation 3 would have a larger userbase than Nintedo’s Wii, EA was left in a relatively weakened state when the Wii became a hit and the Playstation failed to reach a wide audience directly after it was launched.
This also led to underinvestment in new IP, though Riccitiello stated that the company has entered a new direction by focussing on less products, but supporting these with more resources and also expanding towards the digital distribution of products. Though investors have not yet bought in to this new vision of the company, Riccitiello is confident this will happen in time.
This new vision has resulted in Electronic Arts closing several studios over the past year, including Pandemic Studios, and laying off approximately 1500 jobs. Riccitiello justified this decision by stating that “it’s possible to create better revenue and greater profitability on the packaged goods side with fewer titles and more investment in those titles, hence the reduction of resources and personnel in that arena. It’s a painful call, but the right one.”