EA Heralds New "Fewer and Bigger Brands" Strategy as a Success

EA Heralds New "Fewer and Bigger Brands" Strategy as a Success

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The publisher is going to spread itself less thinly in the future, but apparently still has room for new IPs and ideas.

The more things that you try and do at once, the less time and resources you have available to allocate to them. It's not the most complicated truth in the world, but EA says that will be keeping it in mind as it moves into a new financial year.

At the company's annual showcase event in London, UK marketing director Stuart Lang said that EA's policy of working on fewer, but bigger brands had allowed it to consistently deliver high quality products and services. He said that EA had made great advances in the shooter market, doubling its market share, and had started the year strongly with Bulletstorm and Crysis 2. Lang also said that Battlefield 3 would be the "strongest release in the sector this year, and that as well as gains in the shooter market, Lang said that Hot Pursuit and Shift 2 had "reinvigorated" both the Need for Speed franchise and the whole racing genre.

Lang also pre-empted concerns that the "fewer but bigger" policy would mean that EA would invest in fewer new IPs and genres, and pointed to Portal 2, American McGee's Alice: Madness Returns, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and Shadows of the Damned. It's worth noting, however, that only two of those games are actually new IPs. Madness Returns and Portal 2 are both sequels, and in the case of Portal 2, a sequel to an immensely popular game that EA didn't make and is in fact only distributing.

The slightly disingenuous comments about new IPs aside, EA making an effort to make better games seems like a good thing for gamers. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who's especially keen on hastily finished shovelware, and this policy - provided that EA sticks to it - would appear to be the antithesis of that.

Source: MCV

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of course, this strategy makes a lot of sense from a business standpoint, and COULD POTENTIALLY be better for game quality. But somehow I doubt it.
If all they do is put their money in to pre-established bloated franchises that are already in danger of going stale, that helps no one. It actually kind of sounds like a step on the way to the Activision slash & burn strategy.

Whelp, sorry but I have to call BS on this one.

For example, I loved DA2, I honestly did. But that doesn't mean I can't help but note that the gameplay balancing and map areas were not given enough time to develop and that there is indeed a bit of truth behind the fact that its rapid release date was spurred by a desire for money. As I have said, I still like the game, see the storytelling within it as really everything BUT a shameless moneygrab because it actually tried something different from the tried and true formula (you don't do such a thing if you're interested in cash - you'd do it if you're genuinely interested in taking a risk). So I did consider it worthy of my money and time, ESPECIALLY considering the added deal for ME2 for my relative.

But that doesn't change the fact that it was rushed on the level of the gameplay, which while certainly what I think could be a step in the right direction was unpolished (unprecedented really for a Bioware game) and even buggy. So yeah...please have a care in the future? The customers *do* play these games of yours and can spot these things sometimes after all.

That's fancy talk for "we're going back to the Madden formula".

So basically EA have said "We're only doing sequels. They still may be shit but we're not trying any new ideas because that means we'd have to re-sell them to our core audience."

Wow...Why do they even bother making press releases?

K guys i know it's gonna be difficult, but try not to use the "What about the hastily finished Dragonage 2??!!" thing too much ok? XD

Also woo more Dead Space!

....

What's that my pessimistic side? Another Dead Space would totally suck? Goddammit!

So far the only good game as of late they churned out for me is "NFS: Hot Pursuit". God how much I loved playing that game at my friends. Still need to get it. D<

Yeah call me when EA stops using its marketing arm in the disgusting and unethical manner as it did with Dead Space 2 and Dante's Inferno. Until then I am not buying anything from these guys.

we don't have enough variety as it is and EA propose streamlining choice even more?

EA suck... fostering even more of an environment where chances won't be taken, in favour of big, souless, designed by commiitee, bs.

Maybe the focusing on "fewer" will give them room and time to innovate in the current IP's they have. I'm not saying Battlefield 3 is going to do anything groundbreaking, but decent size tweaks here and there can make for a new and fun experience.

Also, you know what I'd like to see? I'd like to see EA come out with Battlefield 3, then not make any more BF games. Just improve and change it constantly through DLC. Now when I say this, I don't mean just add $15 dollar map packs, I mean improve the game through gameplay mechanics, graphics and sound, but do it through DLC instead of making us have to go buy another disc. Would it be that bad to pay 5 bucks there and there to have a stream of new content? (i'm talking single AND multiplayer here)

The Wykydtron:
K guys i know it's gonna be difficult, but try not to use the "What about the hastily finished Dragonage 2??!!" thing too much ok? XD

Why not?.. I'm pretty sure DA2 is what would have fallen in to their catagory of 'Big'...

DA2 is a perfect example of where EA wants to go....

This only matters to me if Mirrors Edge 2 is going to get a release date soon so we can stop guessing.

Soooo... more Medal of Honor?

My only "problem" with the statement is in its vagueness. On one side, I imagine that working on fewer brands would mean more manpower is devoted to those projects. That would mean making sure each game is properly polished and complete before going on sale.

On the other, this could mean playing it safe and pulling an Activision. Ugh, I really hope not. I just want some sort of written statement that they'll leave Bioware alone to do their own thang.

It would also be nice if they followed the game plan Extra Credits laid down and made "Project Ten Dollar" something that both consumers and developers could be happy about.

EA Heralds New Fewer and Bigger Brands Strategy as a Success

on a side note they forgot to mention that they do not speak on behalf of EA Sports

This is just good business, pure and simple. EA tried listening to the hardcore fans, who said they wanted new IP and innovative ideas, and then failed to buy them. Now they know what works - a handful of key AAA franchises to keep the business going, plus one big new push to capture media attention. As long as the games themselves are good, they won't wind up like Activision.

Spangles:

The Wykydtron:
K guys i know it's gonna be difficult, but try not to use the "What about the hastily finished Dragonage 2??!!" thing too much ok? XD

Why not?.. I'm pretty sure DA2 is what would have fallen in to their catagory of 'Big'...

DA2 is a perfect example of where EA wants to go....

I was just expecting a big line of snarky DA2 related posts... Maybe i overestimated the amount of haters on this site?

Long story short i've had enough DA2 rage threads... And DA2 "let's be reasonable about this threads" and basically all DA2 threads in general

Though i am worried about if they'll cock up the inevitable Dead Space 3...

Robyrt:
This is just good business, pure and simple. EA tried listening to the hardcore fans, who said they wanted new IP and innovative ideas, and then failed to buy them. Now they know what works - a handful of key AAA franchises to keep the business going, plus one big new push to capture media attention. As long as the games themselves are good, they won't wind up like Activision.

Well, sort of. It's more a matter of EA again selling out because they didn't get the immediate results that they wanted.

To put things into perspective, when launching new IPs and such, they still have to produce games that people want to play. The problem with EA is that they assumed gamers would buy anything they wanted, as long as it was new. Their "new wave" of IPs included half-arsed products like say "Dead Space" which while interesting was pretty much "hey, let's make a horror game that doesn't scare anyone". They pretty much retreaded a variation on Aliens, with the whole gimmick that the hero wasn't a "Space Marine" in cool armor he was an "Engineer" in cool armor. The property had a lot of potential, but it wasn't developed properly as a horror game, heck the backround material on sites like "No Known Survivors"
was cooler than the game itself.

That said, a lot of their new IPs were hardly unsuccessful. "Dead Space" made money, the issue largely being that it isn't quite enough to make EA happy. Whether they continue the franchise or not, I think on a lot of levels "Dead Space" is kind of the postor child for EA's change in attitude.

EA retreating back to "hey, let's churn out sequels" is a pretty much par for the course, and the attitude that is hurting the industry, because to be honest innovation is always risky and difficult, and actual innovation involves having to buck the treads and what the bean counters think is going to be successful. To point at "Dead Space" again, it's really a very generic space-shooter type game with some simple puzzles, exactly the kind of thing you'd expect to be green lit. What's more, despite the whole "moms" ad campaign, there really isn't anything especially shocking and scary in the game as far as the jaded audience that is attracted to horror games and shooters go. If EA wants to innovate, it needs to take things to a differant level, and deal with the hype and contreversy, preferably hype and contreversy coming from creativity and the game itself as opposed to pushing political buttons by saying "hey, let's make a game that glorifies real criminal syndicates fighting the authorities and killing people right now!" like is being done with the "Juarez" franchise.

It's not so much a smart business move, as a gutless one, and in the long term what is going to throttle the industry and cause it to stagnate even more. Maybe the people demanding innovation didn't buy a lot of these new IPs, but then again EA failed to develop new IPs worth buying. It's not that they were on the wrong track, a lot of it was that they went through the motions with most of their new titles, but really didn't change all that much.

I'll also say that jumping on fads is a bad idea as well. "Mirror's Edge" was largely dependant on the whole "Parkour" thing, aside form all the problems with the whole idea of a first person platformer, horrible writing, and everything else, "Parkour" was a drop in the pan of pop culture, and while still interesting, it's not being screamed from the rooftops anymore which is something anyone who watches trends probably should have known was coming. It was a horribly bad idea to build a game around to begin with. Again it probably came down to bean counters going "hey, this free-running stuff is hot right now, they even used it for an opening chanse sequence in a James Bond movie. Let's build a game around that". The same kind of mentality that would try and build games around Hula Hoops if they somehow made a fad comeback.

The less brands we have the better because then those companies can look upon their already milked to death franchise and hopefully come up with something that works and is of stable playability.

Will wait to see actual earnings report before passing judgement all i have to say though is TOR best be the massive success they want it to be and not another WAR.

To be fair towards EA, they are losing money, so I understand that they need to do something to remedy it, even if I don't like it :-/

To be honest, I'm less concerned about a decrease in new IPs and more concerned about the shape and form of those that will come out. Just because the IP is new, doesn't mean the idea behind it is. If the few new games that they release are new, fresh never-before-seen concepts then I'm fine with that, if it turns out to be more military shooters and car games then we'll have a problem.

Also, please EA, I know this it's a plea that will fall to deaf ears, but please loosen the grip on Bioware, they have been generally successful with their new games in the past, don't force them into franchisacide :-/

one of the tags for this is

Dulletstorm... ouch.

Less new IP's is never good :(

 

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