Riccitiello: Investors need to “catch up” with EA, SWTOR “solid, successful, profitable”

Wednesday, 9 May 2012 23:55 GMT By Brenna Hillier

EA’s stock took a bit of a beating in the wake of its financial briefing earlier this week, but CEO John Riccitiello says investors are behind the times.

“I think investors are eventually going to catch up with the company,” he told CNBC’s Mad Money.

“We’ve beat our guidance on the top line, came in at the every high end on APS, and guided a 38% APS growth in the coming year, after launching a whole bunch of blockbusters.

“So: Nothing to apologise for. I think it’s good now; [when] it gets better, investors are gonna see it.”

Host Jim Craner suggested investors had become more excited about the success of Star Wars: The Old Republic than was justified, and are disappointed as a result, a sentiment Riccitiello agreed with.

“When we originally started the franchise, our plan was to break 1 million subscribers. Our investment case was 1.2 million. We told the street yesterday we’re at 1.3 million,” he said.

“We happened to have an earnings call right in the launch period, where we hit 1.7 million,” he added, ruefully. “We have an obligation to tell them the facts. Realistically, I think it’s a solid success.”

Riccitiello reiterated comments from his the investor briefing in which he stressed that EA never planned for The Old Republic to ourperform its top five franchises, like FIFA and Madden.

“Some people are treating it like it’s the only thing that matters. For what it’s worth, it’s a solid, successful, profitable franchise,” he concluded.