EA: Quality Is Not The Entire Game Selling Equation

Speaking in an investor call, Electronic Arts CEO, John Riccitiello, discussed the company's lower than expected sales during 2008.

"While we saw significant improvement in the overall quality of our key products this year, that quality has not yet translated into enough sales," he said. "So far in calendar 08 we have shipped 17 titles with Metacritic scores of 80 or above versus seven this time last year. Quality is a prerequisite for a great selling game - but it is not the entire equation."

"We did manage to put quality and innovation on the board, and we're very proud of that. Many times, what happens with a new intellectual property is the first edition doesn't generate the units that subsequent editions can generate, and I would argue that in this particular year the consumer might have more reticent to take risk than they might otherwise be, in a very crowded Holiday."

"So I think we've established the value for EA, and the value in our franchises, and these are things we can build on in the future."

"We're very pleased with a lot of our new franchises this year," he added. "We think Spore has established a strong base for being an ongoing franchise, we think the same of MySims, Dead Space looks like a long term big winner for us. We expect Warhammer will continue to perform very, very well, it's life measured in multiples of years not multiples of months."

"Mirror's Edge is one that was very strongly reviewed. That one's going to go forward; we'll probably be looking at some issues around the design to make sure that a strong IP is married to a strong business."

To increase profitability, EA decided to cut down its games portfolio and lay off staff in 2009.

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