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EA doesn't usually get benefit of the "cult" says CEO

When it comes to review scores, Riccitiello says that EA's games don't fall under the "everyone must rate it a hundred" thing

Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello says that his company doesn't usually get the benefit of the "cult" when it comes to game ratings.

While speaking to investors gathered for the William Blair & Company's 28th Annual Growth Stock Conference, Riccitiello was asked to estimate the Metacritic review scores for EA's upcoming titles.

"I always hate answering questions like this. It is a little bit like you're jinxing the play, you know - 'We expect the New York Times to love this play.'

"And you sort of feel a little bit like a twit getting out ahead of it because there's a certain cadre of journalists that would love to prove me wrong."

Riccitiello said that he has looked carefully at EA Sports titles - NASCAR, NCAA, Madden and NBA Live - and found them to be better products than last year.

With Madden in particular, he said "It's a vastly more innovative and better product and worthy of a 20th anniversary."

"If I move to the games line-up, I am really proud of Mercenaries. I am really proud of Bad Company...I'd be disappointed if it was below high 70s. It is a really good game."

He also named Dead Space and Spore as titles he thought would rate highly. Even so, the EA boss was irritated that one bad rating could throw things out of whack.

"It used to be...All Metacritics were higher once upon a time because it was ten professionals rating them. Now, sort of anybody with a pen can rate them and it ends up with a bit of a wider track some times.

"EA doesn't usually get the benefit of the cult - 'everybody has to rate it a hundred' thing going on - that happens sometimes even when they may not, based on the review, have played more than the first fifteen minutes of the game. But that's a separate issue."

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