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Electronic Arts CEO steps down

John Riccitiello is stepping down as CEO of Electronic Arts.

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John Riccitiello is stepping down as CEO of Electronic Arts, effective March 30th. Riccitiello was appointed in 2007, and attempted to refocus the company on digital. Under his leadership, EA launched "Project Ten Dollar," a now-standard practice of including one-time use vouchers in new retail games. During his tenure, the company also significantly increased its focus on mobile and social games, moved away from licensed console games, and launched Origin--an EA-operated digital storefront for PC games. In spite of these initiatives, the company has continuously struggled, with EA stock failing to provide any meaningful returns for investors. Riccitiello's position has been repeatedly questioned in recent investors calls. Additionally, EA has announced that its revenues and earnings for the current fiscal quarter will be "at the low end of, or slightly below previously issued guidance."

EA stock has long-struggled under Riccitiello's leadership

"We thank John for his contributions to EA since he was appointed CEO in 2007, especially the passion, dedication and energy he brought to the Company every single day," Larry Probst, EA's new acting CEO said in a press release. "John has worked hard to lead the Company through challenging transitions in our industry, and was instrumental in driving our very significant growth in digital revenues. We appreciate John's leadership and the many important strategic initiatives he has driven for the Company. We have mutually agreed that this is the right time for a leadership transition." Riccitiello also added: "EA is an outstanding company with creative and talented employees, and it has been an honor to serve as the Company's CEO. I am proud of what we have accomplished together, and after six years I feel it is the right time for me pass the baton and let new leadership take the Company into its next phase of innovation and growth. I remain very optimistic about EA's future--there is a world class team driving the Company's transition to the next generation of game consoles." In his resignation letter, Riccitiello said that "accountability" is the main reason for his exit. "We have fallen short of the internal operating plan we set one year ago," he wrote. "EA's shareholders and employees expect better and I am accountable for the miss." "In offering my resignation, my goal is to allow the talented leaders at EA a clean start on FY14. I look forward to working with you in the coming weeks on an effective leadership transition. I'm extremely honored to have led this company and proud to have worked with all the great people at Electronic Arts."

Andrew Yoon was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 18, 2013 1:21 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Electronic Arts CEO steps down.

    John Riccitiello is stepping down as CEO of Electronic Arts.

    • reply
      March 18, 2013 1:30 PM

      Goodnight, sweet prince

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      March 18, 2013 1:51 PM

      Any chance this is a reflection of recent events or does it just line up with a few bad releases? Any chance we'll see change that's better for the gamers or more of the same from the next in line? These are the things the world wants to know!

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        March 18, 2013 2:01 PM

        Riccitiello's resignation was a long time coming. You can only push the "it'll get better next year" mantra for so long until the shareholders want you sacked.

        That being said, I know that many people here probably see EA as "the evil empire," especially after the recent launch of SimCity. However, I think Riccitiello brought about a lot of good change to EA. Before he came on board, EA had a lot of licensed shovelware on the market. The quality of games coming from EA has improved greatly under his supervision--mostly because he's also a gamer.

        From my impressions, Riccitiello always seemed like a passionate gamer (especially compared to other industry figures, like Bobby Kotick), and it's because of his efforts that EA's produced games like Mirror's Edge and Dead Space. I think the diversification strategy: moving to digital, PC, mobile, social, as well as console will ultimately put EA in a better position in the long-run.

        Running EA must be one tough juggling act. It's a giant beast, trying to adapt quickly to an industry that's been evolving rapidly over the past generation. Riccitiello may not have succeeded, but he's going to be a hard act to follow-up on.

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          March 18, 2013 2:20 PM

          As awful as Bobby comes out, the one thing he does well is make intelligent business decisions. Like he knew that starting up his own digital distribution platform would be a waste of money. Activision has also always been about providing the widest possible number of ports for their games, they want it to be on everything.

          They've always been more intelligent about this than EA which has been very reactive and made unwise decisions (like restricting ports off the PC/Wii or Origin). Activision has also never been into always-on DRM (Though Diablo 3's motivation could have come from them?) - all of their releases have always been activation DRM.

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            March 18, 2013 2:47 PM

            Yep, I totally agree that Kotick is a brilliant business guy. When your title is CEO, you have to be good about that too. And ultimately, that's why Riccitiello is leaving EA.

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          March 18, 2013 4:39 PM

          Mirror's Edge and Dead Space are almost five years old. Riccitiello abandoned the "innovate/make interesting games" strategy before it ever had the chance to succeed. The choice was then made to turn DICE into a Battlefield factory, destroy any measure of quality at BioWare, waste money on a crappy digital distribution platform, and devote an enormous amount of resources on a doomed MMO project.

          They have been consistently five years behind the competition. Five years behind Valve, behind Blizzard, behind Activision.

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            March 18, 2013 5:45 PM

            To be fair, 2008 was a bad year for the economy. I could easily see hands being forced in near panic, shifting entire corporate goals. They've never really recovered from that either, which I imagine is a vicious circle.

            Don't get me wrong, it's not an excuse, but it does contextualize many of their bad decisions.

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        March 18, 2013 2:05 PM

        It's probably tied to the performance of Dead Space 3 and SimCity. The suspicion was he was in trouble after The Old Republic's massive failure, but ME3 still sold well.

        Having Dead Space 3 underperform and SimCity get such an awful metacritic score (yes, that does matter to EA) even though it sold 1.1 million copies, probably ended his stay there.

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          March 18, 2013 3:46 PM

          I feel like there's a bunch more reasons:

          - NBA Elite 11 getting canceled after shipping to manufacturing: http://kotaku.com/5704605/how-a-big-video-game-was-killed (and then canceled AGAIN: http://www.shacknews.com/article/75969/nba-live-13-canceled-ea-sports-aims-for-live-14 )

          - The Medal of Honor series getting resurrected into a "chase Call of Duty" mode, only to be critically panned but sell well in 2010, and then be critically panned and sell horribly in 2012. I feel bad for Danger Close; EA's execs made them bite off way more than they could chew.

          - FIFA Ultimate Team becoming the easiest attack vector for XBox Live account hacks: http://www.shacknews.com/article/71700/editorial-fifa-12-xbox-live-money-laundering

          - Ruining BioWare, through Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3, as well as diluting the BioWare brand by giving it to Victory Games.

          - Trying to play "me too" with Steam by standing up Origin, which itself was an insult to the long-dead acquired-by-EA studio, Origin Systems.

          I remember back in 2008, EA was the publisher of Crysis and for Rage, and there was so much hope of a more open, more creatively friendly megapublisher. And then EA burned through all that goodwill in the following 4+ years.

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            March 18, 2013 4:28 PM

            08-09 was when EA's financials had started freefalling :\ being open and creatively friendly was specifically not working well for the shareholders vs. Activision-style (or pre-06 sequelitis EA-style)

            most of the 'nice' stuff as far as crysis/rage/valve support/rock band/brutal legend was out of EAP, though, not the direct publisher overlord arm. they were two pretty separate entities, and everybody loved EAP!

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              March 18, 2013 4:32 PM

              Everyone's financials plummeted in 08

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                March 18, 2013 5:51 PM

                Yeah, and EA keeps making missteps, both in risks and in what were considered "safe" decisions. Other than sports titles they didn't really have any other strong pillars to keep them afloat. Hence never recovering.

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                March 18, 2013 6:40 PM

                and they've been sliding back towards profitability as we hate them more. my thinking is more that the kind of behavior we'd like out of them just doesn't work for a company like that

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            March 18, 2013 5:54 PM

            Origin, as much as it is ragged on from a gamer prospective, it may yet be one of their best decisions, financially.

            I know the stock market loathes looking beyond the next quarter, let alone years ahead... but if EA doesn't abandon it, improving it as they have previously described, it could very well be the thing that keeps EA afloat regardless of their own products.

            Though not at the size they currently exist at. They would still need hit games to keep that up.

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            March 19, 2013 6:15 AM

            3-5 doesn't mean shit. FIFA UT is a resounding succes and is making moneyhats. The Xbox Live thing is Microsofts problem.

            SWTOR floundered, but outside of that, Bioware is fine. Dragon Age 2 got lots of flack but it also sold really well.

            And as RaptorII says, Origin was a good decision from a business perspective.

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              March 19, 2013 6:19 AM

              DA2 sold at release really well, but had a massive drop-off in sales. ME3 had the same effect and the culmination of this was SWTOR which saw an even more massive drop off. We'll see what BioWare does with DA3, the book's still out on this one.

              I don't know where you or Raptor get your data about Origin, since they have not split out the costs or profit in their financial statement. All we know is that EA has been steadily losing money for the last 2 years (with 4 of the last 6 quarters being negative) and they just lowered guidance for the next quarter, which means they are losing more money than they projected.

              That does not sound like 'a good decision from a business perspective,' but again, we don't know for certain until they split out Origin's numbers.

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                March 19, 2013 6:36 AM

                What does their financial troubles have to do with Origin?

                Here's the thing: PC retail is dying. There may still be a few bastions on mainland Europe, but as far as I know PC has just about zero presence in the US, and UK retailers are going bankrupt left and right.

                So you have to move online and into digital distribution, a market that is currently being completely dominated by a single company, and one that also happens to be in direct competition with EA. Yes, Valve has a great track record, and we all love them, but when you're the second-largest publisher of games in the world, you can't build a long-term strategy around the hope that Valve suddenly isn't going to switch things up in a major way.

                EA HAD to make Origin.

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                  March 19, 2013 6:38 AM

                  *zero retail presence, is what that should say.

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                  March 19, 2013 6:43 AM

                  EA HAD to make Origin. No they didn't: See Activision, and Bethesda, who are both massively profitable. Both are major publishers, split across two markets, who knew better than to compete with Valve because their owners knew that building that infrastructure is a bad idea.

                  Remember that EA has been fighting in this market for years. Origin is based on the EA Downloader/EA Link/EA Store+EA Download Manager: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_%28content_delivery%29#History

                  They've always lost money on this venture. From a market perspective it is illogical, which is something other major publishers realized. Even UbiSoft knows better. Though they have a store, it is not a competitor with Steam. All their games come on Steam and UPlay. EA is the only publisher that saw fit to compete, and here we are 2 years later with them steadily losing money.

                  What does that tell you?

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                    March 19, 2013 6:56 AM

                    Activision has what, one major PC release a year? And they are also part of the same corporation that runs Battle.net, arguably the most solid digital distribution service outside of Steam. I can guarantee you that there's a plan in a drawer at Activision HQ to move all future titles to a Battle.net offshoot if the need arises.

                    Bethesda is a second-tier publisher compared to EA or Activision, but they're building an MMO at the moment. I think it's a sure-fire bet that they're cooking something up.

                    EA has been losing money for years. I can't remember the numbers, but it's something to the scale of at least half a billion dollars a year. If you think that's down to Origin getting its ass kicked by Steam, you're crazy.

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                      March 19, 2013 7:08 AM

                      Activision has multiple major releases each year.
                      This year it is: Heart of the Swarm, CoD, The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct
                      Last year was: CoD, WoW: Mists of Pandera, Diablo 3, Prototype 2

                      "I can guarantee you," No, you cannot. You might want to check up on your facts. Activision does not own Blizzard and Blizzard is not owned by Activision. Activision and Blizzard are mutually owned by the same holding company, Activision-Blizzard. See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Activision_Blizzard - So Activision does not have say in what Blizzard does, any more than Blizzard has a say in what Activision does.

                      "Bethesda is a second-tier publisher compared to EA or Activision, but they're building an MMO at the moment. I think it's a sure-fire bet that they're cooking something up." Again, you have no facts for this statement. Bethesda has never said anything about an online store, and never about competing with Steam.

                      "EA has been losing money for years. I can't remember the numbers, but it's something to the scale of at least half a billion dollars a year. If you think that's down to Origin getting its ass kicked by Steam, you're crazy."
                      I never said this. I said EA has been losing money over the last two years, and that Origin has lost them money, not that Origin lost them -all- their money over the last two years.

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                        March 19, 2013 7:24 AM

                        Dude. First you say Blizzard games are Activision releases, then you say Activision and Blizzard have nothing to do with each other. What?

                        Bethesda is building an MMO. MMO's need a major DD infrastructure to support them. Unless you're a bumbling amateur, you will build that infrastructure with a long-term option of expanding it for use with other games. Case in point: Battle.net 2.0. If/when Bethesda sees the need to move off Steam, they'll already have the tech in place.

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                          March 19, 2013 10:30 AM

                          "Unless you're a bumbling amateur, you will build that infrastructure with a long-term option of expanding it for use with other games"

                          Do you? Did NCSoft do this, Cryptic, TenTen Network, Enmass, or Square?

                          Most companies never bother. Only (debatibly) SoE have created stores with their MMOs. Keep in mind that Battle.Net was not created for World of WarCraft, it was created as matchmaking for Diablo and you couldn't buy or download games on it until Starcraft 2 / Battle.Net 2.0. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

                          You forget: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle.net#World_of_Warcraft
                          "World of Warcraft initially did not support Battle.net, having separate accounts from Battle.net ones until the revamp of Battle.net on March 20, 2009 which forced players to merge their World of Warcraft accounts with the new Battle.net accounts."

                          WoW had nothing to do with Battle.Net at launch. All of your statements are based on an invalid premise.

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                            March 19, 2013 11:25 AM

                            NCsoft doesn't use Steam, and they're already selling all their games through their own service. Cryptic Studios is a developer, not a publisher. En Masse aren't doing too hot. I've never heard of Tenten, and apparently neither has Google. I'll grant you Square Enix, but they've only recently begun to care about PC again.

                            It is not important why or what Battle.net was originally created for. The fact is that today, it's a massively succesful digital distribution service that's also robust and technically sophisticated. They're offering services (start playing with partial downloads) that not even Steam has. If Activision ever needs a DD service, they can have one up and running in no time.

                            Meanwhile, EA had nothing. So for them, it was either a question of building their own, or risk having no control of their digital fate. They need Origin. The Crysis 2 DLC debacle showed that EA's strategy and Valve's terms don't mix.

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                      March 19, 2013 7:10 AM

                      Anyways, all that was to say:
                      "I can guarantee you that there's a plan in a drawer at Activision HQ to move all future titles to a Battle.net offshoot if the need arises."
                      Is wrong. You have no statements to back up what you say just speculation.

                      Here's what you're probably mistaken by:
                      http://www.1up.com/news/battlenet-could-play-host-to-activision-games

                      "I'll tell you this, Bobby Kotick and all the folks at Activision are very supportive of Battle.net and what we're doing," Canessa said, calling Battle.net "one of the top five strategic initiatives going on at Activision Blizzard."

                      He continued, "Today, [the focus is] Blizzard games, and making sure Diablo III is a kick-ass online experience, and making sure we evolve and add features of StarCraft II, make sure that WoW kicks ass for Cataclysm and beyond."

                      "Someday, maybe we add other titles in there, who knows," he added. "When we really feel like we've delivered that great set of experiences for Blizzard games, and we feel that we've grown the team... when I've got that sustainability, when we really feel like we've got that dialed in and nailed down, who knows what the future holds."

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                        March 19, 2013 7:31 AM

                        Erhm. I'm saying that pretty much every major PC publisher is keeping their options open and making moves to ensure they won't be dependant on Steam, and then you post a quote from a Blizzard employee who's on the record saying that Activision is doing exactly that with regards to Battle.net, as if that somehow refudiates my point? I don't get you.

                        Yes, of course it's speculation. Why would anyone go out of their way to say "yeah, we're happy with Steam now, but we've got plans in place in case they suddenly decide to fuck us"? That doesn't mean it's not happening, though. It's business strategy 101.

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              March 19, 2013 6:22 AM

              In addition, ME3's sales came in under ME2's: http://www.vgchartz.com/article/250066/mass-effect-a-sales-history/

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        March 18, 2013 2:21 PM

        He at least tried to move EA away from re-iterating the same shit, but the shareholders didnt like his strategy of creating new franchises as well as mixing in some cash cows, they just wanted the cash cows to be milked to death, and the experiment ended prematurely.

        The guy who has taken over temporarily is the guy behind the whole "everything must be online rah rah" shit. So it could just get a lot worse.

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          March 18, 2013 4:28 PM

          well, this is going to be entertaining to watch, if nothing else :P and yeah, i'm betting it's going to get worse from our POV now

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      March 18, 2013 1:57 PM

      I have a feeling that the "Worst Company in America" award helped push this along.

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      March 18, 2013 2:17 PM

      [deleted]

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      March 18, 2013 2:18 PM

      The "vision" and handling of Sim City being the final nail in the coffin? I wouldn't be surprised.

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      March 18, 2013 2:20 PM

      Been a long time coming. However, since almost all EA execs have never made a game in their lives it won't change a damn thing.

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      March 18, 2013 2:56 PM

      [deleted]

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      March 18, 2013 3:01 PM

      I imagine Valve is silently celebrating all this. It doesn't just look bad for SimCity, it makes EA and Origin look really bad too. Steam's biggest threat (IMO) has been taking one massive blow after another the past few weeks.

      Why would anyone ever buy anything on Origin after stories like this:
      http://www.gameranx.com/updates/id/13275/article/sim-city-ea-refuses-refunds-threatens-customer-with-origin-bans/

      Releasing SimCity in that state was such a horrific mistake. Even the game's more minor problems were taken out of proportion because of all the hate (and lies that came from Maxis). Let's hope the new CEO brings actual change, but I'm not holding my breath.

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      March 18, 2013 3:02 PM

      Business experience is great, but until they enjoy games as much as the people the endeavor to sell them too, they will never "get it". You can only take beloved classics and 'dumb down (streamlining), rush to market (must. have. annual. releases.) and turn everything into a cookie-cutter shooter' so many times before the fans turn on you. The games that have sold well and gone on to become legends are the games that were made for gamers, by gamers. When Publishers figure out enabling that is as important as "appealing to a broader audience", then growth will happen.

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      March 18, 2013 3:11 PM

      They really need to find someone competent. If there is one thing I'd consider the biggest problem with EA management it would be the slow destruction of every other studio they acquire. They go in and buy it because it's successful then proceed to fuck with the things that made it successful in the first place.

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        March 18, 2013 3:39 PM

        except Dice, Maxis, Tiburon, Criterion, Firemint

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          March 18, 2013 4:10 PM

          It looks like they're in the process of fucking up Maxis.

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            March 18, 2013 4:26 PM

            I think an argument could be made for DICE too, just slower because shooters are bigger business.

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            March 18, 2013 4:31 PM

            maxis proper was pretty much untouchable via the shield of will wright - they got to stay in emeryville, and pretty much got whatever they wanted (didn't get absorbed into the main office, for one). there was a separate 'Maxis' at EARS that did the expansion packs and the later sims games, but they were effectively a different studio

            then spore happened, and i wouldn't be surprised if everything imploded :\

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          March 18, 2013 4:16 PM

          ....exactly. people always ignore these.Instead they harp on about Bullfrog, Westwood, etc.

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            March 18, 2013 4:29 PM

            i really wanted to say Bioware was a success too because Mass Effect 2 is in my top 5 games of all time, but then Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2 happened

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              March 18, 2013 4:39 PM

              DA2 and ME3 are the kind of games where it seems like EA started really fucking with things. DA2 and ME3 seemed incredibly rushed at points. It just feels like at some point EA starts heavily micromanaging their devs. Hell I still don't get what they killed off Pandemic. That dev was still turning out quality work. Hell they should have made Battlefront 3 on the frostbite engine by now.

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                March 18, 2013 4:42 PM

                i still think me3's main blunder was the ending, rather than how ea handled it(THANKS CASEY). the dlc character doesnt even bother me compared to the ending

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                  March 18, 2013 4:47 PM

                  The ending was really the kicker but there were points where it really looked rushed. The cheap 2d sprites were really noticeable at points.

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                  March 18, 2013 7:18 PM

                  Both EA and Bioware fucked it up but I lay more blame on Bioware because they let it happen.

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                March 18, 2013 4:45 PM

                the last 2 games they released was Lord of the Rings Conquest (stinker) and Saboteur (really fun game that did not make money). mercenaries 2 was decent but it didnt live up to the first game.

                the worst thing is they didnt get to make a battlefront game, which is what they were put on this earth to do. whyyy?

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                  March 18, 2013 4:50 PM

                  they also super-delayed mercenaries 2 until it finally came out in a still-buggy state... something like a year+, was it? it and burnout paradise were delayed so many times.

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                    March 18, 2013 4:51 PM

                    Yea they became really big complicated games. i hope Paradise did not kill the Burnout series, though it looks like that is what happened.

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                      March 18, 2013 6:44 PM

                      It seemed like it was well regarded - it was another one of the "we'll let them do what they want" games from what I'd heard. the post-launch support for that game was amazing too! so many things done right :(

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                  March 18, 2013 4:52 PM

                  Yeah, the fact there wasn't a Battlefront game this generation blows my mind. The franchise was great and I probably would have bought it day one and played the shit out of the potential multiplayer. Hell a Battlefront game on the frostbite engine with AT-ATs and destruction is all I could ever ask for. Also the first two Destroy All Humans! games were fun.

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                    March 18, 2013 5:01 PM

                    Maybe they thought it would conflict with Battlefield? Frostbite Battlefront would rule so hard

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                      March 18, 2013 5:05 PM

                      I'd love both equally. Hell they could have staggered them to avoid having them release at the same time ala what they did with Medal of Honor.

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          March 18, 2013 4:28 PM

          Uhhh, bf3 is fucked to the point that i probably wont touch bf4.

          EA forced origin onto DICE, who i still contest was prepping BF3 for a Steam release

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            March 18, 2013 5:55 PM

            Uh, Of all the EA complaints, I will never understand this. Origin has been largely hassle free for me, using it involves a double click and it takes 1 second to load. It isn't much different than steam.

            I really feel like people will come up with anything in an attempt to malign the name of EA. Some of it is deserved, mostly for how they bought independent developers and subsequently destroyed them (cough bioware) But origin? Who the hell cares really. As a software front end it works completely fine and hassle free.

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              March 18, 2013 6:01 PM

              EA does some dumb shit for sure, but I honestly don't think Origin is that. The disdain for Origin is solely because "it's not Steam". So someone else wants to take a crack at digital distribution. The worst thing to happen to me for it is a lack of shared friend lists. (Oh, and that it can't accept a copy/pasted password from KeePass2 when changing your password, despite not giving any errors, but that's another gripe for another day)

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              March 18, 2013 6:37 PM

              I don't really disagree with you but at best it's a shitty attempt to replicate steam. See http://www.shacknews.com/chatty?id=29862959#item_29862959

              If it holds to one or two major publishers with their own digital fronts I'll probably be ok. What I worry about is having 12 different things in my taskbar and having to look through them for the game I want to play. It's the same issue with Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, Comcast Streampix, etc, etc. not good for the consumer.

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                March 18, 2013 7:40 PM

                I think a single company having a stranglehold on distribution is also bad for the consumer. Valve's been doing good by the gamer, but remember: it can change at a moment's notice.

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                  March 18, 2013 8:05 PM

                  I agree but other companies joining in and doing a shitty job of it isn't helping either. At least with steam plenty of other companies are selling the products IE Amazon, GMG etc. If origin was doing the same and doing it well I'd be much more satisfied

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                March 18, 2013 7:42 PM

                I think they've done a fairly good job with it - I can think of things to dislike about EA, but Origin is far from being in the top 1000 reasons. I think people just want to talk smack about EA as I mentioned earlier.

                Remember how awful Steam was at release? It took Valve some time to shape it into the product that we currently love - the fact that Origin has worked fairly pain free from the start is something that I can appreciate.

                Anyway, I would love for EA games to be on steam, but it's really no big deal. Origin has been okay in my book.

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                  March 18, 2013 8:10 PM

                  Origin has nowhere near the benefits of steam. Background updates are a great exmple as I stated before and keep in mind Origin is much newer. There's no exuse for them not being at least as good as steam today. Steam had to find the answers to digital dist, those answers are known now. No reason for EA to fail to act on them years later.

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                    March 18, 2013 8:15 PM

                    When's the last time you used Origin? It really is pretty good, and was way better at launch than steam was at launch. Anyway, to my point - Origin does game updates in the background - I'm really not sure what you're referring to, unless you're referring to client updates? If so, there are certainly plenty of times where steam updates require a restart. Steam and Origin are both fairly similar in terms of updates, TBH.

                    I really hate sounding like i'm defending EA, but there are many valid reasons to dislike EA. There are definitely aspects of EA that I do not like. Origin is not one of them IMO, I think it works pretty darn good. It's hassle free, easy to use, and works offline.

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                      March 18, 2013 8:41 PM

                      I was referring to this http://www.shacknews.com/chatty?id=29862959#item_29862959

                      TL;DR Origin running for weeks, no update for BF3, got to play and suddenly the update for DLC coming out next week is needed and I can't bass to play the game without.

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                        March 18, 2013 8:45 PM

                        It updated for me in the background every time. For all the BF3 updates.

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                        March 18, 2013 8:47 PM

                        There's a setting in the options for automatic updates, which I believe is turned on by default. It's in the general tab.

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                      March 18, 2013 8:47 PM

                      Origin has been out for more for almost two years and remains as featureless as it was at launch. In that same time frame, Valve has added game hubs, big picture mode, sharing screenshots and videos, steam workshop, steam greenlight, steam market, steam for linux, and item trading. It shows a total malaise on EA's part. They are only interested in creating a digital distribution market. They don't care about social features that consumers obviously crave. They don't have profiles pages, they don't have achievements.

                      Sure, Steam was bad at launch. In 2004. Then it started improving rapidly.

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                        March 18, 2013 9:01 PM

                        Origin does have integrated twitch.tv streaming now, which is actually a really neat feature. But it's not stable or solid in the slightest.

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              March 18, 2013 6:56 PM

              But Steam is better and I don't want to install Origin because it's a shitty Steam. Also EA sucks... Just give in to the logic and common sense man!

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              March 18, 2013 7:01 PM

              http://www.shacknews.com/chatty?id=29858198#item_29858198

              Origin as a front end has never been what I'd call hassle free, and probably never will be at this rate.

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              March 18, 2013 7:37 PM

              Having your own digital distribution platform isn't the problem, forcing people to use your platform when a lot of people already have most of their game library in Steam is the problem.

              All EA had to do is keep selling on steam.

              On the other hand, if SimCity had been available on steam for preorder, I'd probably be one of the people wishing I hadn't bought it...

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              March 19, 2013 5:48 AM

              Im not speaking of origin as dd service

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              March 19, 2013 6:26 AM

              For every buyer who would've bought something on Steam but consents to get it on Origin, EA profits by not having to give Valve a cut.

              For every buyer who would've bought it on Steam but not on Origin, EA loses.

              I guess EA's reasoning/estimate is that the first group outnumbers the second one by a big enough margin to make Origin exclusivity worth it.

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            March 19, 2013 7:28 AM

            [deleted]

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        March 18, 2013 4:34 PM

        The sad part was that he is pretty damned competent. He's supposed to be a super nice guy. I'd be shocked if the next guy wasn't a total douchebag.

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      March 18, 2013 3:34 PM

      I blame Gibreau.

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        March 18, 2013 3:54 PM

        Yeah; he's probably the one who spearheaded "always-on" SimCity, judging by this statement last year: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-09-06-eas-gibeau-claims-it-isnt-neglecting-single-player-games-after-all

        "You can have a very deep single-player game but it has to have an ongoing content plan for keeping customers engaged beyond what's on the initial disc. I'm not saying deathmatch must come to Mirror's Edge,' he explained.

        "What I'm saying is if you're going do it, do it with an open-world game that's a connected experience where you can actually see other players, you can co-operate, you can compete and it can be social."


        Yeah, no deathmatch for Mirror's Edge, but we have seen how clumsily shoehorned-in SimCity's "connected experience" is.

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          March 18, 2013 4:33 PM

          i can envision a really cool connected social experience for SimCity that is purely optional and also is really awsome. maybe it'll happen for SimCity 6, but what probably wont ever happen is a purely singleplayer SimCity ever

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          March 18, 2013 5:18 PM

          What's funny is the longevity of a game doesn't really seem to be related to it being MP or SP at all. It seems to be more related to how compelling the game actually is to play and how the game can foster a community around it. You can still have ongoing DLC income on titles that are easy to mod, just look at pretty much anything that Bethesda has put out.

          Being "socially connected" doesn't mean a damn thing if the core game isn't that good, has poor support from the developer or doesn't encourage people to keep playing via new content (official and user generated).

          The social features of a game should be a tool to help people maintain the community and not be a hamfisted effort to force a community on its users.

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            March 18, 2013 5:29 PM

            I can't rmember exactly who but someone said last week that the industry regards Bethesda games as an 'anomoly'

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              March 18, 2013 6:35 PM

              paraphrasing the anonymous evil publisher guy at SA, I think

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      March 18, 2013 3:52 PM

      [deleted]

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      March 18, 2013 5:00 PM

      Jesus, the guy even looks like a douchebag

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      March 18, 2013 5:07 PM

      Well, now he gets to find out what playing SimCity without an always on connection is like.

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      March 19, 2013 4:26 AM

      Peter Moore on Kotaku's "Best John Riccitiello Tweets" article ( http://kotaku.com/5991198/the-best-john-riccitiello-jokes-twitter-has-to-offer ):

      http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-03-19-peter-moore-kotaku-reveling-in-self-smugness-over-riccitiello-resignation

      "Kotaku reveling in what, due to their self-smugness, they don't realize is a sad day for our industry, which is the platform on which they actually make money. John not only helped propel our company and interactive entertainment into new experiences, thus enticing millions of new people to become 'gamers', his work leading the ESA in recent years has helped ensure that we don't experience the fate of the music industry," Moore said of his former boss. "Sad loss for all of us who had the pleasure of working with him as we emerged from The Burning Platform."

      Umm... no, Peter, I think many of the Tweets hit the nail on the head, and the music industry is doing just fine with DRM-free as the de facto rule, and digital distribution creating an even playing field for indie labels as well as the Big Four (...ahhh, THAT's why you're afraid of "experiencing the fate of the music industry", isn't it? ;-) )

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        March 19, 2013 4:40 AM

        Blaming their customers and the media for their failures seems like a pretty common attitude in the games industry.

        Haven't EA lost money for something like 6 of the last 8 quarters? As well as making repeated catastrophic strategic decisions, terrible acquisitions and creating multiple spectacular PR disasters?

        It seems like the board replacing the CEO because his track record is shit. That's not Kotaku's fault.

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        March 19, 2013 6:43 AM

        As a human being, I hope the guy is able to find another job and do well for himself and his family. I hate to see an individual lose their job. THAT SAID, is EA going to learn from this? Their faulty business model needs to GO.

        It seems so easy, as many things in life truly are. Just take care of your customers and they will make sure you are taken care of. I shouldn't even have to explain how this is done. It's simply a matter of not punishing your customers. Pull your heads out of the sand EA/Ubisoft/etc, enjoyment-crippling DRM is not the way to tackle your ghostly 'lost revenue'.

        Bring on the age of DRM-free games! I hope I see it!

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        March 19, 2013 7:05 AM

        [deleted]

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        March 21, 2013 11:43 AM

        It's not an accurate comparison, indie music doesn't need a big budget to sound good. You can hardly tell the difference when compared to corporate labels. The reason AAA games look so slick is because they have a $25 million budget behind them. When piracy gets as bad as 4 in 1 copies it drastically neuters the budget of future games and hurts their quality. The next big video game franchise could've been passed over countless times because companies didn't have the budget to develop it.

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      March 19, 2013 5:08 AM

      This is The Old Republic and nothing else. Don't be fooled.

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      March 19, 2013 5:41 AM

      I'd really love another of those EVIL PUBLISHER insider interviews. Seeing as the guy was from EA I'd love to hear what he has to say about their situation now: http://kotaku.com/5925083/an-insider-from-one-of-those-cold-calculating-mega+publishers-is-answering-your-questions-right-now

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        March 19, 2013 6:53 AM

        is this a joke? WTFITS:

        "Hey. Stop it with Day One DLC. Seriously. Knock it off, and to that point, why is it that a few companies "get it" with DLC while others just shill out crap and expect us to like it? Take Rockstar for example, RDR's DLC is what we all expected in the DLC era...not ME3's "hey here's a character you should have just gotten free..."

        Also, thanks for doing this. Appreciate the insight.
        AnonPublisher @RocktimusPrimeDog 8 months ago

        Then stop buying it.

        Look, it's simple. One team puts together a rough estimate on how much they expect the company to make from DLC. Let's call that "A". Then another team puts together an estimate on how much it will cost to develop that DLC. Let's call that "B".

        If A > B, you get Day One DLC."


        Were they trying to piss us off with this interview or is it a big hoax?

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        March 19, 2013 7:11 AM

        I wonder how many of these "insider" interviews are completely fabricated

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          March 19, 2013 7:14 AM

          Even if it's completely fabricated you see the actions being taken and the answers fit right into place with what's going on in the industry today.

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      March 19, 2013 7:36 AM

      This is the best EA release of the year

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        March 22, 2013 4:37 PM

        Lol, if he was responsible for EA's shitty DRM and boring games, then yes.

        I also wonder if it had anything to do with the Sim City 5 launch (and shitty DRM and game design).

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