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Wright's departure "a long-term negative" for EA

Wed 08 Apr 2009 8:13pm GMT / 4:13pm EDT / 1:13pm PDT
Business

Analyst suggests Wright walks away with better deal than former employer

Analyst firm Cowen and Company has stated that Will Wright's departure from Electronic Arts will have a detrimental effect on the publisher in the long term.

Wright was EA's key talent at the internal Maxis studio, and has been responsible for some of the biggest franchises in the publisher's portfolio, including The Sims, Sim City and Spore.

"His departure is likely to be a long-term negative as Wright's games have been some of EA's most profitable franchises, and Wright has been the leader in game design at EA's Maxis studio," wrote Doug Creutz in his latest note to investors.

"Wright has also been the most visible and respected 'talent' at EA for many years," added Creutz.

EA will continue to part-fund Wright's new venture, Stupid Fun Club, and get first refusal on IP he creates for new videogames.

But Creutz speculates that Wright walks away with a better deal, similar to Rockstar founders Sam and Dan Houser's recent funding by Take-Two to create new properties.

"The venture with EA appears to give Wright a much more significant economic stake in his future game designs, as well as more creative control.

"The arrangement could have been inspired in part by the recent deal Take-Two cut with Rockstar Games (in fact, Wright appears to have gotten an even more favourable deal than Rockstar did)."

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