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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: Cautiously Optimistic
By borismkv on 2/12/2008 4:29:40 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget Crysis. The biggest Charlie Foxtrot I've ever played. The sinlge player campaign was awesome in points, but then it ends with absolutely no story resolution (probably because EA wants to force gamers to pay 150 dollars for a complete story rather than the typical 50). Multiplayer has devolved into pure drivel. It is apparently so easy to hack the game that there are 4-5 people at a minimum with some kind of cheat, meaning that a good multiplayer game is impossible now, and with no way for the majority of people to kick cheaters, it's not worth playing anymore. Which is a shame. The power struggle MP mode is really quite fun. Reminds me of C&C:Renegade, the game that got me into the FPS genre to begin with (Another game we'll never see a sequel to thanks to EA's crap business model. And it was in development when EA bought Westwood).


RE: Cautiously Optimistic
By Bonesdad on 2/13/2008 6:36:04 PM , Rating: 2
man, I'm glad I never bought Crysis...


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