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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 would like to believe this...
By Maximilian on 2/11/2008 12:24:38 PM , Rating: 1
But i dont, i really dont think EA can change at all. Why? Because they need creative people with innovative ideas to make great games and last i heard a good chunk left to make their own studio, also based on the trash they release i think theyre on the RIAA and jack thompsons payroll to destroy pc gaming and get us all on to consoles where theres no piracy :P

Even if they do change as someone said already the damage has been done, simcity is ruined and theme park?? Whos heard of that?? Oh thats right they never made another theme park its all rollercoaster tycoon nowadays and IMO RCT 3 released 2004 STILL isnt as good as theme park world back in 1999. C&C isnt what it used to be... with C&C3 the storyline and interesting environment created in tib sun is gone and they seem to be totally ignoring the red alert series for some batshit crazy reason.

Nah... theyve had their chance, they screwed it up, lets hope in 5-10 years activision blizzard swallows them up and puts those EA sports fans out of their misery.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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