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Game developers are like flowers, says EA CEO

Electronic Arts has a reputation among gamers for swallowing talented game developers only to later turn them into excrement. EA CEO John Riccitiello knows it, and told Game|Life at DICE, "We at EA blew it, and to a degree I was involved in these things, so I blew it."

Developers fallen victim to EA’s previous mismanagement include the once great Origin Systems, Westwood and Bullfrog. "When I talked to the creators that populated these companies at the time, they felt like they were buried and stifled," Riccitiello said.

EA Sports is notorious for making small changes, sometimes the most significant of which is a roster update, every year to its sports games and selling them for full price. While that model may work for a select genre, it’s largely inapplicable everywhere else. EA may have figured that purchasing a developer for solely the IP would be a winning idea, but one that is now proven to fail without the adequate inspiration behind it.

"The command and conquer model," said the EA CEO, "doesn't work. If you think you're going to buy a developer and put your name on the label... you're making a profound mistake."

Such was the topic of Riccitiello’s talk at the DICE conference, informing listeners that he would put forth a "new model" of "how publishers and developers can work together in the future," hoping to avoid the mistakes of EA past.

With EA’s most recent acquisition of BioWare and Pandemic, for which the publisher paid $860 million, the company now has to makes sure it doesn’t mess with a good thing.

"Creative teams can be thought of as flowers in a hothouse -- you move the temperature up or down a few degrees and the flowers will die," Riccitiello said.



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RE: Great news...
By Tsuwamono on 2/11/2008 10:46:41 AM , Rating: 2
i play online all the time? possibly a Pebkac error for you? lol


RE: Great news...
By enlil242 on 2/11/2008 11:35:10 AM , Rating: 3
LOL, I had to Google "Pebkac." Nice. Just like the "ID 10 T" error I see alot. ;-)

No, I could never sign in early on. Even after creating a new persona. It was difficult and frustrating. Expecially when it took me a hundred tries to get a name that was not "in use." (Including vague and obscure ones)

Most online games let you choose any name in the options and play. MoH:A stifled many gamers, and caused issues logging in. That may have been fixed at some point, but it seemed it wasn't in their (EA's) interest to differentiate between the PC and console versions of the game, and made many in the mapping and modding community not supprot it.

I sold mine early on and was going to wait how it all played out. Glad to see you are playing fine. Are there many servers online these days?


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