EA’s been going through some rough times lately, although the publishing giant has seen games like Mass Effect 2 perform very well, its overall health is in question, with company stock taking a deep, and investors losing even more confidence in the giant. So what’s the problem? Well according to Michael Patcher, EA makes games “people don’t want”.
[EA's] credibility was killed because they’ve demonstrated a pretty poor capacity for forecasting,” the analyst said on Game Trailers Bonus Round. “So put in that quote and I’m sure we’re gonna get a thousand posts saying I suck at forecasting as well,” (laughs).
He continued: “You know, it’s hard, forecasting is hard. I think that last year, we all thought the industry was gonna grow – software sales were down 10 percent and so that alone made everybody really look bad.
“I think that EA in particular misjudged a lot of products – I think that they thought for example that Brutal Legend would be bigger, I think that they thought as did I that Beatles Rock Band would be bigger which they didn’t get much profit from but certainly did good sales and I think that they thought that the sports business would rebound because we were kind of in this fourth year of the cycle and it’s the mass-market phase – it’s about time people start buying Madden again and Madden is fine but it wasn’t up, so that was the biggest part of their struggle,” Pachter said.
“Second is that I think that they continue to make games that are niche kinda games that people don’t really want and Saboteur is a good one – you know if you liked that kinda game then it was a great game and if you don’t it sucked and you don’t buy – so what the company is saying it’s going to do now and this is the credibility part and they’ve said it before. ‘We’re going to get our cost down, fire 1500 more people, we’re going to focus on making great games’, well Mass Effect 2 looks like it’s a nice start and I think it’ll be the highest rated game this year and the year is only a month old and it looks like it’s going to be great. And we’ll see if they get it right this year but investors aren’t going to believe that anymore,” he concluded.
So do you think EA’s prospects are good looking into the future? Dante’s Inferno is out in the UK and will be in the US tomorrow, but will the game sell proper? The reviews haven’t been very favorable, with publications like Edge give the hack-n-slash title a 6/10.