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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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I can change...
By Proteusza on 2/11/2008 10:49:28 AM , Rating: 1
Makes me think of South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, when Saddam Hussein sings about how he can change. Yeah right.

EA has sundered their reputation too much to ever be taken seriously again I think.

RE: I can change...
By fic2 on 2/11/2008 11:33:50 AM , Rating: 5
Yeah, what's the old saying - Fool me once shame on you, fool me thirty-seven times, well I'm just a big ol' dumb*ss.

EA is probably just telling people what they want to believe so they will buy the next round of crap, again.

RE: I can change...
By Screwballl on 2/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: I can change...
By Nekrik on 2/12/2008 3:49:26 AM , Rating: 4
Way to stray off topic to take a shot. Where in the article that you linked do you see MS making any promises to change? If anything they deny any fault in the matter. There's also no proof that they shafted consumers, it seems more like some opportunistic dumb-asses.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner
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