DICE 2008: EA, The Benevolent Dictators

Russ Pitts | 8 Feb 2008 19:40
DICE - RSS 2.0

To developers he said to not look for the highest offer, but instead find people you can trust, no matter the partnership.

"As much as I would like to inspire you that the garage model is a good thing, I think it's hard. … Since we're in Vegas, if you put $30 million down on 34, and it doesn't come up 34, it's not a good thing."

When asked about "best practices" in the various EA studios, which he likened to "city states," Riccitiello said, "Let me admit to you we're working on it. If I had to point to best practices, I'd say strong leadership at studios. … A strong leader will pick up the phone and say 'something's not right' and have the talent and courage to … change the direction. … The heroes are the guys who lead the studios and make the games … we're the support staff."

In all it was a stirring pronouncement and somewhat of a rare admission of failure for EA, who for years has prided themselves on their acquisition strategy and ability to juggle large numbers of creative teams, a juggling act Riccitielleo, at least, seems willing to confess they haven't always been adept at.

"If you tell people what to do, you're responsible for the outcome, and they remind you of that at every opportunity," he said. But if you instead, he went on, sit down and talk about priorities and objectives, "in my experience, they deliver. … It's a little harder to run it that way, but I think it's the only way to run it if you're going to be successful."

Comments on