Riccitiello resignation “clearly prompted by the board”, claims Pachter

Tuesday, 19th March 2013 09:13 GMT By Dave Cook

Long-serving EA CEO John Riccitiello resignation letter was “clearly prompted by the board”, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has suggested. It comes as Riccitiello claimed personal responsibility for the company missing financial targets and due to its lowered guidance.

You can read the full resignation letter here. I suggest that you do before continuing as it paints a grim picture of EA’s next round of financials, and puts the below into context.

Speaking with Eurogamer, the analyst gave his own thoughts on why Riccitiello left EA now.

Pachter began, “If you read his resignation letter, it was clearly prompted by the board. I think that missing guidance is a pretty weak excuse to fire him, particularly since the industry was down 24 per cent last year, and EA managed to gain share and grow its digital business.

“My guess is that the board couldn’t get over the Star Wars disaster (one of the reasons for buying Pandemic/BioWare), and the departures of the doctors, the departures of all of the PlayFish guys, and lackluster social and PopCap results just tipped them against him. The missed guidance was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Pachter also said that the reasons outline in the letter made for a “pretty weak excuse” for Riccitiello’s resignation.

What do you think? Was Riccitiello’s hand forced by the board, or are his reasons for leaving sound? Let us know below.



  1. Dragon246

    Was there any doubt about it? Hardly any CEOs “resign”. They are forced out.

    EA’s CEO taken offline due to server issues.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. OmegaSlayer

    I just think it’s not a good thing for the biz.
    I liked Riccitiello.
    He was surely a businessman, but I never thought he was the “evil” inside EA, I think he was more the human side of EA.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. The_Red

    The timing of his resignation is really curious. With next-gen just on the horizon, a new leadership might benefit EA but why right now? Why not after EA or earlier? Why not closer to SWTOR’s fall?

    #3 2 years ago
  4. NooB GobliN

    Should we be worried about EA? Between Simcity, the worst launch of the year, Medal of Honor Warfighter, the flop of last year, and a dissapointment that was Dead Space 3 not to mention Army of Two:Return of the dark redemption or whatever and Fuse, two games that aren’t creating buzz and lunching very soon. EAs top shit isn’t too good nowadays. What’s going on over there?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. OmegaSlayer

    It’s rumored that EA got too close with Microsoft.
    Every time some business get too close with Microsoft it starts to go to hell.

    I remember when Milan AC (soccer club) had MilanLab, a medic center that had biometric studies and fitness programs ad personam for their players.
    It was top notch, the first center of this kind in the World, then Microsoft took the job of making new work programs and players started to injury with extreme easyness.

    Deals with Microsoft kills sane business.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. The_Red

    True. Heck, even their NFS didn’t do as good for a Criterion one (compared to their NFS:HP). So far, EA has hurt the IMAGE of many of its brands, lost some of them and hasn’t produced proper replacements. They need a hit outside “Battlefield / FIFA / Madden” zone.

    EA’s hardcore / usual pool is shrinking while their casual / social one isn’t expanding as quickly. I think the new management / CEO will let the hardcore pool dry and bet the house on Facebook / Social / F2P.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. orakaa

    @4 : Sim City is a PR disaster… but it sells, nonetheless. I hope it wouldn’t, to make EA come back on its “always-on” gaming policy, but it’s not really the case.
    Same goes for Dead Space 3: there has been a lot of noise about it amongst hardcore gamers, but it didn’t affect the “Call of duty/FIFA crowd”.

    I have TONS of friends who mostly play FIFA and Call of Duty. They also play some other games, but they’re not THAT interested into gaming to go look deep. For instance amongst those friends, few were the ones who were “affected” by or aware of the micro-transaction/less horror orientation of the game. They didn’t know, and to be honest, they didn’t care. They just saw the game and thought that it could be fun and didn’t bother about it. Low attachment rate, low fidelity.

    For Sim City, if people could have accessed the game at launch, I think we wouldn’t have heard of this mess. So it’s a good thing. It also put the attention on the fact that between 2 and 3 years from now, EA will pull the plug off the servers (as they do with all their servers), when it will cost too much to keep or just when they will release the next Sim City… leaving honest buyers without the possibility to play the game they bought (sure there is a patch apparently, but it’s not official, not in accordance to EA terms of usage of the game, and only part of the owners will be aware of its existence).

    #7 2 years ago
  8. ps3fanboy


    #8 2 years ago
  9. Dave Cook

    @9 they’re a business. Businesses exist to make money.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. roadkill


    #10 2 years ago
  11. Samoan Spider

    @9 Its amazing how many forget that. These companies do have an obligation to keep people happy whilst making the money and lets face it, EA sells millions upon millions of games and even if there were 10000 comments/complaints about a one of their games or a business practice, that’s a pretty small percentage. So basically #8 remember for all the pissed off people, there’s easily 10x-20x more people who are happy about a product.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. LordSkyline

    Ohh look, Captain Obvious stating the obvious. Wish Pachter would freakin retire already >.> (please?)

    #12 2 years ago
  13. DSB

    I thought it was clear that he couldn’t last once they started spreading rumors about his departure.

    Someone wanted him gone, and it’s not hard to understand why. SWTOR was a major fuck-up, he kept buying studios without considering the bottom line, and all his focus on Battlefield and Medal of Honor didn’t exactly serve to even the scales between EA and Activision.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. YoungZer0

    What I never understood is why he bought studios only to fire everyone later.

    #14 2 years ago

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