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Riccitiello outlines three-point plan as EA takes the offensive

Thu 05 May 2011 7:17am GMT / 3:17am EDT / 12:17am PDT
Publishing

Battlefield "flat-out superior" to Call of Duty, company is to become a "platform", not just content creator

Electronic Arts is stepping up aggressive moves in the console and wider video game market, as it looks to prove itself superior to the competition in intellectual property and talent and establish the company as a platform rather than just a content creator.

While the company has gone through a period of change, cutting costs, building its digital business reducing the number of titles it brings to market, it is now taking a more aggressive approach according to outspoken CEO John Riccitiello.

"Our strategies could be defined as fundamentally 'defensive'. Today, we are announcing a big shift to 'offense'," he said.

Our strategies could be defined as fundamentally 'defensive'. Today, we are announcing a big shift to 'offense'.

John Riccitiello, EA

"Over the coming years, we will transform EA from a packaged goods company to a fully integrated digital entertainment company. We transform EA to a games-as-a-service model by focusing on three new strategies."

The three areas of focus are pushing established IP such as Need for Speed and EA Sports on all gaming formats, establishing the business as a "consumer games platform" and maintaining a solid, best-in-business pool of creative talent.

"Increasingly, we see ourselves as a software platform every bit as much as we see ourselves as a content maker for other companies' platforms," said Riccitiello.

"And, while we will continue to be a great partner to our best retail customers and first party partners, you will see the beginnings of a consumer game platform emerge at EA that complements and extends the console ecosystem and addresses the wider opportunity on other devices."

"We are the only company with world-class teams working cross-platform on social, mobile and console development," he continued. "We are integrating these teams and augmenting them with product monetisation and marketing.

"It's a big change. As an investor, you can see this as a way to better manage our IP, and drive up the ARPU for our core properties. As a developer, you can see this as the reason EA will be the most interesting and satisfying place to work in the game industry."

One of the key titles for EA in the 2012 fiscal year is Battlefield 3, with Riccitiello stating the company is gunning for the competition, Activision's Call of Duty franchise.

"Pre-orders for Battlefield 3 are up more than 700 percent versus the same period before the launch of Battlefield: Bad Company 2. A lot of people are telling us they want to play this game on day one.

"We know we have a big competitor. But head-to-head with Call of Duty in Q3, we have the superior game engine, a superior development studio, and a flat-out superior game. Our goal is to significantly gain share in the huge FPS category and to put the other team on defense.

He added that "with Battlefield 3 we are mounting the biggest launch campaign for a game in EA's history. We think the franchise is worth it. We know the opportunity is worth it. Still, this is a big commitment of resources."

The company revealed full-year losses of $276 million yesterday, with fourth quarter profits up 42 per cent to $151 million due to significant digital growth.

20 Comments

Brian 'Psychochild' Green MMO Developer

14 11 0.8
Funny part is, of course, that EA did this with a single studio before. Let's ask the fine developers at Origin how the transition from boxed games and one tremendously successful online game (Ultima Online) to purely online games went.

Oh, right....

Posted:3 years ago

#1
Nevertheless, EAs strategy, restructuring and IP development have been amazingly strong and successful. They may actually be the new creative beast!

Posted:3 years ago

#2

William Chan European Media Sales Planner, Electronic Arts

11 0 0.0
Battlefield 3: a "flat-out superior game". That's all you need to know really!

Posted:3 years ago

#3
Hmm, Heard sonething similar in all the Medal Of Honor hype.. Hope it turns out to be true this time, I'm not a fans of DICE's multiplayer as is a bit basic and lacks a fun to play aspect compared to CoD games, lets hope they've improved that aswell..

Posted:3 years ago

#4

David Evans Head of Content, eircom

6 0 0.0
BF Multiplayer "a bit basic"? What parallel universe have you been living in? If you said "a bit buggy" I could understand, but the BF games have always been more sophisticated than CoD or the like.

Posted:3 years ago

#5

Diarmuid Murphy Developer Marketing, Microsoft

33 0 0.0
Building a service platform as opposed to content is the most interesting part.
Will we increased cross platform play where EA is the repository of all game data acroos multiple platforms PC, PSP/DS, Console, facebook etc.
really interesting idea but it must bring something new and not just monetise what is already there like "online pass".

Posted:3 years ago

#6
@ David, No Kill Cam, No care packages, basic Kill Streaks, No combat training, No zombies = Bit Basic.. I've never known anyone to think that Dices multiplayer is more sophisticated, I'd agree that Dices multiplayer is buggy and the weapons seem to lack power aswell..

Operation Flashpoint's are sophisticated and tactical yet they get slated because one shot will kill.. :-)

Posted:3 years ago

#7

Rick Cody PBnGames-Board Member

144 14 0.1
the whole games-as-a-service thing is spot on. Buying a boxed copy of Madden every year is old-fashioned. Subscribing to EA Sports brand for $100 a year and getting the games and updates makes much more sense.

Posted:3 years ago

#8

Tim O'Donoghue Information resources, Crunch

7 0 0.0
BF3 predicted to sell --> 8-10 million
MW3 predicted to sell -->16-20 million

...According to Michael Pachter

Posted:3 years ago

#9

David Evans Head of Content, eircom

6 0 0.0
@Pete - you've basically highlighted all the things I loathe about MW.

Posted:3 years ago

#10
@Pete the lack of kill cam isn't exactly correct, BFBC2 had a kill cam except instead of entailing your last moments it showed who killed you and from where

but I think the argument of sophistication comes from the implementation of vehicular combat and vastly different roles as soldiers, as well as the destructible buildings

Posted:3 years ago

#11

Trevor Johnson Environment Designer, Compulsion

8 0 0.0
@pete - care packages don't add depth to game-play, Teamwork, classes, gameplay styles, and the interaction between all those add gameplay depth, tf2 is the best example of an in-depth multiplayer fps. Bf2 with its classes and vehicle combat would count as well. Also achievements and ranking up only add to depth on a superfluous level. but yet we digress, so nm all of this.

Posted:3 years ago

#12

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,135 1,171 1.0
As the Coca Cola company would say: you might make the better softdrink, but we still have the better brand and you will never be able to compete with that.

Posted:3 years ago

#13

Max Priddy

64 12 0.2
I think the games-as-a-service is a great idea for particularly the sports titles as someone posted above, one thing I really want to see though is how well BF3 will do considering it's not another Bad Company (not that the BC series is in any way bad, quite the opposite but I could see dropping the BC subtitle getting more sales), and plus if Activision/Treyarch keep releasing the same game over and over...well, to be fair the series is already past stale in terms of gameplay; not to mention Treyarch would probably be better suited coming out with their own original IP as opposed to more stale fish.

Posted:3 years ago

#14

Trevor Johnson Environment Designer, Compulsion

8 0 0.0
@Klaus
and thats the ideology that lets big companies fall from grace.

"Its cool guys, we don't need to do anything new, they'll never catch us. oh shit were losing sales what going on? the game must not be good enough, shut that studio down, there clearly dead weight."

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Trevor Johnson on 5th May 2011 6:42pm

Posted:3 years ago

#15

Jamie Watson Studying Bachelor of Games & Interactive Entertainment, Queensland University of Technology

179 0 0.0
hopefully this doesnt mean that all of EA's games will become online only as depending on were you live this wouldnt be good.

plus i personally like having a disc copy of the game its just easier to use,no more waiting for Downloads to finish/update etc..

still i hope BF3 smashes COD this year..its getting to repetitive...

Good move EA

Posted:3 years ago

#16

Eoin Moran Studying Bachelor of Engineering, University of Melbourne

35 32 0.9
@ Klaus
remember, EA now has West and Zampella (not that that necessarily affects BF3 in any way though)

Posted:3 years ago

#17

Adam Jordan Community Management/Moderation

113 65 0.6
@Pete: I just have one thing to say to your little CoD retort...If BF is SO basic, then why is BF the only title between the two franchises that has vehicles and destruction? Keep your care packages and zombies.

Also one shot kills in BF as well...it's called a headshot but CoD boys wouldn't know anything about that ;)

Lastly, all three games mentioned here, Operation Flashpoint, Battlefield and CoD offer something different to the table. It's called personal preference and without the different choices, the whole world would be "basic"

Edit: Oh and regarding "combat training" I believe that was only ever featured in CoD: Black Ops, which was featured in a Battlefield title years before, Battlefield 2.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Jordan on 6th May 2011 11:03am

Posted:3 years ago

#18
@Adam Jordan:

Being a fan of EA since the days of Jungle Strike and the first Need For Speed (They were considered the big players back then, before Activision took their place) , I can confidently say that they have a knack for destroying good development teams franchises by milking them to death, again and again.

Since DICE joined EA I'm observing the same pattern. They took a good game ( Battlefield 1942/Vietnam/2 ) and decided to "stretch/expand/branch" it out to hell by creating endless spinoffs such as BF Play4Free, BF heroes, and BF 1943. They also stopped development on the sequel to one of the most creative and fun games created by DICE, Mirror's Edge.

EA kill good game companies, I hope they won't do that with BF3.

Posted:3 years ago

#19

CaseyB Artist, Digital Extremes

12 0 0.0
I just don't get what the fuss is about CoD? Tanks? nope, Helicopters? nope, Planes? nope, Large scale maps? nope, Clear class roles and builds? , BF2 had commander mode so a much better offering then CoD's care-packs and whatever.

oh but zombies ... yeaaaaa I play L4D if I want to kill the undead in style.

also lol @ the "evil EA" comments ... keep that "insider" info coming.

Posted:3 years ago

#20

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