Friday, August 29, 2014

2009: A Win Year For Gamers A Loss For EA.

With many great releases like Uncharted 2, and Modern Warfare 2 2009 was a great year for gamers. Unfortunately few of those multimillion selling titles belonged to EA last year. Even the companies workhorse Madden 2010 saw a drop in sales due to a possible lack of innovation and just a sense of boredom among casual gamers with that franchise. 

From a report today from Reuters it is clear that there is a sense of gloom at the upper levels of EA management.  The report alludes that EA CEO John Riccitello’s 3 may be up as head of the gaming giant.  With a loss of almost 2/3rds share price since Riccitello took the helm his future doesn’t look to bright.  Perhaps with a potentially good year ahead of them EA can turn it around.  There is a lot of anticipation for games like Dante’s Inferno, Dead Space 2 and Crysis 2, and Bad Company 2 which all 4 could turn out to be high sellers.

So where did EA go wrong?  Fortunately for gamers over the last couple of years they have taken chances with some new IP,s like Dead Space and the critically acclaimed but commercially panned Mirror’s Edge.  However at the same time as they took chances with these new IP,s, they continued to release endless shovel-ware for the Wii and uninspired sequels for the various sports franchises under there umbrella. This includes a slew of  low selling NFS iterations in the last 2 years.  Also as recently as this past December they choose to disband the majority of Pandemic Studios a week before there new game Saboteur hit store shelves, essentially guaranteeing little if no add on content would ever be created for that title.  This in combination with sparse marketing of the title assured yet even more lackluster sales for a game that recieved good reviews and had a high level of re playability.

It appears that the publishing giant has learned its lesson with the release of  a statement saying it will cut the # of games over the next fiscal year by almost 50%.  However it may be to late for John Riccitello to come out on top even if the Publisher itself manages too revive its slumping stock price.

About David Allison