Industry Gamers got a chance to toss questions at EA’s CEO John Riccitiello. While they discussed many interesting things, including the company’s firing of around 1,500 employees, its troubles throughout the past year and the new direction the company is headed, Riccitiello was also not above admitting that EA had made a few mistakes here and there. The biggest one? Betting on the PS3.
“We have a history of great success at EA, but there’s no question that 3,4,5 years ago as we went through the last [console cycle] transition, we lost some of what made us successful,” he explained after being pressed about the skepticism surrounding EA. “So following on from that, you can look at it in one of two ways: you can dig deeper into the hole you’re in or you should break out and go after tomorrow. It would have been easier to go after tomorrow if we were bounding from great success through the last transition – unfortunately that’s not where we were. We made the call that PS3 was going to be bigger than the Wii, and we allocated resources accordingly. We got that wrong, and that put us in a position where we probably underinvested in our intellectual property and some of it went into a kind of wane period.”
I suppose none of us could have really seen the runaway success of the Wii coming, but it sounds like it hurt EA a bit more than most other companies. With Dead Space: Extraction selling only moderately well (go buy it, it’s a blast) on the system, one has to wonder how committed they will stay to it.