EA is back up to its fighting weight, says the publisher’s CEO, after a few rough spots over the last seven years.
EA CEO John Riccitiello has spoken rather candidly about the troubles that EA faced as the last console generation transitioned into the current one. He said that the publisher had slipped up, allowing its portfolio of intellectual property to degrade and not having a clear plan for handling digital sales.
Riccitiello said that seven years ago, EA was the market leader in the industry and had eight core IPs. Unfortunately, EA had mishandled those franchises, leaving it with just three viable brands. He cited the Need for Speed games as an example, saying that releasing annual sequels had eventually got the better of EA. He thought that EA’s fortunes had seen a great deal of improvement recently, however, and said that the company’s portfolio of franchises was by far the strongest in the industry today.
He also said that EA had forged ahead in the digital space, claiming that EA had “built the leading position” in online, mobile, and social gaming. What’s more, he said that DLC and other post-launch, online transactions were proving to be a significant source of revenue for EA, as games were “staying in the tray” for longer than they had done before. This meant that the concerns EA had had about monetizing catalogue titles and pre-owned sales had largely disappeared.
It’s interesting to see a publisher admit that it made mistakes, and it’s equally interesting to see a publisher say that it’s not really worried about pre-owned sales anymore. It’s kind of hard to see the former becoming all that common, but hopefully the latter will become an industry standard.