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He has held himself accountable for falling short of the company's financial guidance

Electronic Arts' (EA) chief executive officer announced his resignation today due to missed financial targets.

EA CEO John Riccitiello has resigned after six years of service, which will be effective March 30, 2013. Riccitiello will also no longer be a member of the board of directors.

"This is a tough decision, but it all comes down to accountability," said Riccitiello in an internal memo. "The progress EA has made on transitioning to digital games and services is something I'm extremely proud of. However, it currently looks like we will come in at the low end of, or slightly below, the financial guidance we issued in January, and we have fallen short of the internal operating plan we set one year ago. EA's shareholders and employees expect better and I am accountable for the miss.

"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."


EA's board of directors has appointed EA executive Larry Probst to fill in as executive chairman until the company finds a permanent CEO. Probst was CEO of the company from 1991-2007 when Riccitiello stepped in.

"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," said Probst. "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."

Game publishers like EA have had a rough time in the financial department due to digital sales becoming as increasingly popular as box retail game sales -- and it doesn't help that EA recently had server issues with its largely popular release "SimCity."

"SimCity" launched earlier this month, and many servers crashed during the international release. EA announced that it would add more servers to help out the workload.

Sources: Forbes, Gamespot



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good riddance
By GulWestfale on 3/18/2013 7:07:09 PM , Rating: 5
the guy didn't give a damn about his customers. here are a few examples:

- upon discovery of a bug in BF2 that would randomly kick people off servers, the company pledged to fix it "in a few months."

- BF3: the PC version came with software that scanned your entire PC,and sent the results back to EA. this was documented by users to include even backups of cellphone address books.

- numerous bugs in other games that were obvious and bad for gamers, but that weren't fixed.

- sports games that always lagged behind competitors, usually cost more, but were never more than "the same crap as last year with different uniforms."

- the sim city debacle.

this guy, and his company, don't give a damn about gamers. it's good to see them miss their targets, maybe that will serve as a wakeup call.




RE: good riddance
By Makaveli on 3/18/2013 7:17:53 PM , Rating: 3
I hope you are right but I think it will take a bigger hit in the pocket books for EA to stop being douche bags.


RE: good riddance
By StevoLincolnite on 3/18/2013 9:39:37 PM , Rating: 5
He actually tried to resign months ago, unfortunately he couldn't get a connection to the servers to email his resignation in.


RE: good riddance
By GulWestfale on 3/19/2013 6:17:28 AM , Rating: 3
http://consumerist.com/2013/03/18/ea-disabling-use...

holy jesus. this one is so bad it's almmsot hard to believe. almost.


RE: good riddance
By Wolfpup on 3/19/2013 5:18:57 PM , Rating: 2
Wow... I do like some of the new games EA's done in recent years. Dead Space is...well, basically a modern, super high quality Resident Evil (or at least the first two games were), but this activation and DRM stuff is just nuts. Heck, I still haven't played Spore because of that, and won't play Simcity either (of course both games sound like they have major issues anyway, but I still would have bought them...)


RE: good riddance
By TSS on 3/20/2013 1:36:08 AM , Rating: 2
Deadspace isn't even close to resident evil. Resident evil is a survival horror game, Deadspace is a horror/action game. Ammo is alot less scarce, there are other humans around which do exactly what you'd expect them to, There's no fear of monsters as they come at you in waves, making the whole game feel more like a raid then a horror game.

The only thing that's scary in deadspace are jumpscares, and those are only there because of the extremely loud monster and transmission-connect noises. Like i can barely hear the weapons firing just so that my ears don't bleed everytime a monster spawns according to the script in the location i'd expect him to. In resident evil you can go half a level, be scared out of your wits and not meet a single monster. Right up until the point you relax, that's when there's a zombie around the corner.

I'd love to say EA ruined that series as well, but that's only if you consider it a survival horror game which it never was. As an action game it's pretty acceptable still, which is suprising. Give them time though, if they don't mess up the game directly they'll Simcity it and bury it in either DRM or microtransactions.

EA needs to die. The IP will be sold to people who are really passionate about it. Some will go to people just trying to make money, sure, but at this point how could even that be worse then EA?


RE: good riddance
By Spookster on 3/18/2013 7:27:04 PM , Rating: 1
And with BF3 they really screwed us with the rentable servers for ranked games. Giving the server owner and admins the ability to kick/ban at will is a good idea in theory but in practice leads to admin abuse which it has very much so on PS3. And as soon as they added the rented servers their own EA and DICE owned servers have mostly disappeared so now we are forced to play on rented servers. Let them do what they want in private matches but they should have implemented a voting system for kicking/banning on ranked matches. </rant>


RE: good riddance
By Bad-Karma on 3/18/2013 9:45:56 PM , Rating: 2
They've been leasing ranked servers for far longer than BF3. I was running them as far back as BF2 & BF2142. Previously, BF1942 was leased as well but I never caught on with that one.


RE: good riddance
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/19/2013 11:55:29 AM , Rating: 2
As a server owner...

quote:
Giving the server owner and admins the ability to kick/ban at will


If I didn't have this capability, the GSP and the company would be losing out on a customer.

I better damn well be able to kick/ban at will on a server I am *paying* for...


RE: good riddance
By Spookster on 3/19/2013 10:14:45 PM , Rating: 2
Then they should restrict rented servers to private matches only. The kick/ban/move feature allows badmins to manipulate the stats of themselves and their friends in ranked matches by banning players that are beating them and moving all the bad players to the other team. Happens alot.


RE: good riddance
By dgingerich on 3/18/2013 7:39:05 PM , Rating: 2
He didn't care much for his employees, either, but neither did the old CEO, who is now stepping up to fill in while the board finds a new one. Remember the complaints about working conditions at EA, how the developers would have to work 70-80 hour workweeks? (Which DT won't let me link, saying they're "apparently spam.") I refuse to buy any EA software specifically because of that.


RE: good riddance
By Totally on 3/18/2013 9:54:40 PM , Rating: 3
So you punish the developers even more?


RE: good riddance
By dgingerich on 3/19/2013 8:06:03 AM , Rating: 4
I buy software from companies that treat their employees well, so they can expand and hire more. That allows for more jobs at the good companies, allowing people to change jobs toward the good companies.


RE: good riddance
By Reclaimer77 on 3/18/13, Rating: 0
RE: good riddance
By Kyuu on 3/18/2013 9:23:00 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, he made more money in 6 years than any average person could see after working for several lifetimes, then got "fired" for doing a shitty job. I'm sure he's getting some kind of "golden parachute" severance package too.

Woo, go free market.


RE: good riddance
By Ammohunt on 3/19/2013 11:27:44 AM , Rating: 3
This is America you have the same opportunity as this guy to seek out the same compensation he received but you have to work your ass off for it probably something that would interfere with you game playing.


RE: good riddance
By TSS on 3/20/2013 1:40:38 AM , Rating: 2
And you'd have to sell your soul to the devil. Because if you don't make those quarterly results for which you have to screw over so many people, you will NEVER get that job. That's the America of today.

Some people have a problem with rewarding evil and punishing good, yknow....


RE: good riddance
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/19/13, Rating: 0
RE: good riddance
By GulWestfale on 3/19/2013 3:10:35 PM , Rating: 1
here you go, reclaimer. and sorry, it's not BF3 scanning your PC, it's origin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_%28content_del...

http://www.overclock.net/t/1155275/various-battlef...


RE: good riddance
By DiscoWade on 3/18/2013 9:30:53 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget EA's goal of in-game micro-transactions. They do this already in Sims 3 where they are always trying to sell you some extras with "Sim Points".

I have hated EA every since they couldn't take competition for the NFL games and bought exclusive rights to use NFL players' names. For these reasons and the ones you listed, I'm voting to make EA consumerist.com Worst Company in America. Maybe getting the golden poo from Consumerist twice in a row will make them improve customer service.

http://consumerist.com/2013/03/18/here-are-your-co...


RE: good riddance
By The0ne on 3/19/2013 2:21:46 AM , Rating: 2
Same. I think it ends this year though? My nephews and I are waiting until that day when someone else can pick them up :D


Treating Customers Right
By FlyTexas on 3/18/2013 7:06:06 PM , Rating: 3
Perhaps EA would do better if they stopped treating customers like criminals and instead treated customers like, well, customers.

Let us play our games our way, without needing to be online all the time, without DRM, and you'll find we'll do it.

I didn't buy any music during the DRM days, but now that music is DRM free, I'm buying again. I buy from both iTunes and Amazon, both go into my collection and load to my phone, I don't have to worry about where I'm "allowed" to install them.

Ditch DRM completely and I think the game companies might find we will still pay for quality games.




RE: Treating Customers Right
By Breakfast Susej on 3/18/2013 7:25:08 PM , Rating: 3
I don't understand why more companies don't look to Steam as the example to follow. Yes steam is DRM, but people have come to love Steam, because they are treated well. Steam as DRM for the most part is non intrusive, and they recognize that by selling things for an extremely low price they will actually foster goodwill and sell software they would otherwise not be selling.

People buy games on steam they don't even play, and may not even download. They just buy they because they are cheap. And because of the good image that Valve cultivates. People absolutely railed on steam when it launched but Valve fought a long hard battle to win people over and succeeded.

EA seems to have been operating under the idea that the customers will continue to accept being given what they don't want and told to like it indefinitely just because they are EA. They deserve the bankruptcy and buyout I hope they have coming.


RE: Treating Customers Right
By someguy123 on 3/18/2013 7:33:04 PM , Rating: 2
Thing with steam is that they didn't really "battle" against their past fans as much as battling against client bugs and insufficient amount of servers. The core design of steam is basically the same as it was at launch even though they've tossed a bunch of frills over it, and they've stayed pretty consistent when it comes to updates vs paid DLC.

Meanwhile EA actively lies to its customers about the necessity of always online while cutting its games into little repackaged pieces. Selling video games seems to be a bit more profitable than nickle and diming, at least in valve's case.


RE: Treating Customers Right
By Breakfast Susej on 3/18/2013 7:53:12 PM , Rating: 2
I understand all too well. I played TOR at launch and made the mistake of staying way longer than I should. Their treatment of the customers in that game was just Sad, as was the state of denial and living in lala land they were in about the games potential.

If TOR had been any other property, that is if it didn't have the Star Wars name and the history of Biowares past success behind it, it would have never made it a month. The way they handled the launch, the way they handled what they called character balancing in the patches, all of it was like a comedy of errors and customer abuse.

The things people will put up for in the name of Star Wars.


RE: Treating Customers Right
By Reclaimer77 on 3/18/13, Rating: 0
RE: Treating Customers Right
By althaz on 3/18/2013 10:09:49 PM , Rating: 2
I actually thought TOR was a pretty awesome game, but I'm not the type to like typical MMOs.


RE: Treating Customers Right
By FITCamaro on 3/18/2013 10:13:40 PM , Rating: 2
TOR's only real problem was the lack of something to do after you finished the story. Which happens with most new MMOs.

And due to the high production values with voiced cutscenes by both player and NPC, it takes longer for them to put out more content.

The only other thing I wished for was a more in depth crafting system.


By Breakfast Susej on 3/18/2013 10:39:34 PM , Rating: 2
There was more wrong with TOR than that. Such as the atrocious engine performance. Badly sub par visuals for the performance it did have. Abysmal PVP system. Horrendous developer behavior as far as making huge, sweeping, and nonsense changes to class balance early on leading to the worst FOTM rubber banding I've ever seen.

Moving from those issues we have the way they handled the launch, by opening first with too few servers, knee jerking and creating way too many servers. Then when the game bled subscribers in record fashion, leaving a solution to dead servers sit until something like six months after launch. When some servers had dwindled to the point of having as little as 6, yes 6 players on in the fleet at primetime.

The pervasive feeling of hopelessness this fostered, Lack of ability to form and retain any kind of guild or communities, absolutely decimated interest in the game even further.

Lets talk about a few more things, like taking six months to patch in completely standard things like a guild bank and customizeable UI because the game was shoveled out the door in a horrendous state thinking the pretty cutscenes would distract people for six months.

No I am afraid I have to disagree that that was TOR's only problem.


By TheJian on 3/19/2013 8:16:36 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe if you pick a leader who HATES DRM I'll support you. Until then your games can go fly a kite (I'll keep flying my flag...Guess what's on it) :)

GOG.com FTW! If I can't buy your game without DRM, you won't get my money. On top of that they keep producing the same thing and usually with the same bugs as the last gen. Start concentrating on my single player experience and gameplay over graphics and you'll have a better shot at more of my money too.

Then again, just go out of business so we can get back 100 great devs like runic etc. Between you & MS you've destroyed most of the companies I used to give my money to like it was a yearly donation...LOL. Now I see EA as the publisher and immediately think, frak, more DRM and a game pushed out before it's done and with less than 15hrs of game time for $60. Oh well, back to gog. :( These days I want 15hrs for $15 and far more time for what they ask. If I can finish your game on a saturday you've ripped me off no matter how pretty it is. I'm glad HD'ing old games is coming on strong. I'd rather pay $20-40 for a remake that gives me 50-100hrs over anything today at $60 (especially if I missed the game to begin with back then). Today's kids haven't played BG1&2, or many of the infinity engine games, most missed a lot of neverwinter nights, ultimas, wizardry's, bard's tales, HOMM's, Age of empires, age of wonders, the first 3 elder scroll games etc etc...Kids today have no idea what they've missed and what we used to get for $30-50. I put 200+hours into Wiz8 (it had 2 endings...LOL) for $53 10yrs ago, about 120 in wiz7. What happened to gaming? It all got REALLY pretty but extremely short. Thank god we have wasteland2, shroud of the avatar, project eternity etc coming back in style. I'm hoping these will be 50hrs+ of fun.

Don't get me wrong, I like new content, but not if its over in a few hours tops. These days I pretty much ignore anything but strategy or rpg. Serious sam types get my money but that's $20-30 for a lot of fun. I wouldn't ponder the same game at $60. I really hope big game devs start going back to gameplay over graphics. It seems we only get that from small devs. Look at torchlight/torchlight2 vs diablo3. I could buy both torchlights for less than d3 and not be forced online to play while getting 4-8x in my gameplay time. I'd have enough left over out of $60 to throw in grimrock and some other gog game for $5-10...LOL. Jeez. This is why you're losing money. I HATE EA. Long live devs like runic, almost human, inxile, spiderweb, portalarium etc etc...
http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/03/19/richard-garriott...
yeah baby...Lord British has been funded! :) Great games can be made for $500K-4 mil and make a lot of money at $15-30...Why do we keep getting crap for $60? There are a TON of people that can't afford that price. You'd get a lot more sales at $30 with no DRM and more gameplay.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/portalarium/sh...
woot. "shroud of the avatar stars YOU"...Bring on a new trilogy Lord British! heck give me 10 more to go please. :)




As an avid gamer
By Chosonman on 3/19/2013 10:55:19 AM , Rating: 2
I took a lot for me to hate a company with such a passion as I do EA games. EA is a cancer on the gaming community. Yet they hold so much control. I chose with my pocketbook back since 2008 since the last time I bought Madden football for my PC. It's refreshing to see that I'm not alone in my feelings toward this corrupt company.




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