Riccitiello the reason EA stopped ‘kicking ass’, anonymous exec says – rumour

Wednesday, 20th March 2013 00:15 GMT By Brenna Hillier

An anonymous source said to be a former EA executive has shared a biting assessment of CEO John Riccitiello, who announced his resignation yesterday.

“Riccitiello lost money every single year he was at EA while I was there, (and probably every other year he was there too). He just didn’t know anything about games, or rather, interactive entertainment in general,” the purported former EA staffer told GamesIndustry.

“He’s much more obnoxious than impressive.”

The source said he suspects interim and former CEO Larry Probst’s ‘heart isn’t in it’, and said that EA has “a huge staff of unproductive senior execs that have ‘retired in place’” which is referred to internally as the “EA Retirement Home”.

“They might think they are (or were) creative powerhouses, but of course the creative people actually left EA long ago to seek work where they could be creative (take risks), and invent things,” he or she added.

“EA hasn’t done much of anything of interest in 10-15 years, as proven by the unstaunched bleeding out of equity over that entire time period. It’s sad really, that company used to kick ass. Riccitiello was the single largest reason it stopped. Maybe it will heal, but I don’t think so.”

Harsh words. EA has said it will consider both internal and external candidates to succeed Riccitiello, but Pat’s pointed out that COO Peter Moore is a perfect fit.



  1. Hunam

    I don’t fully agree. Dead Space, Mirror’s Edge and Dragon Age: Origins were all brilliant titles.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Pytox

    @1 Yea but once EA got involved in the production process, the franchises went not in the positive direction ( ex. Dead Space )

    #2 2 years ago

    Mass Effect never stopped kicking ass. Even with the ending as controversial as it was, very few games can actually stand up to Mass Effect. Then again I am a subliminal fanboy :D

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DSB

    Anonymous source is anonymous, but I’ve been saying this for ages.

    And EA is far from alone. The industry is full of antiquated executives who have no idea where to go from here, or how to do it.

    @1 None of those ever got the sequels they deserved though. EA can pride itself in a long line of franchises that were dropped on the floor, while Riccitiello was too busy trying to “kill” CoD and WoW.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. nollie4545

    My concern is that games are being churned out in conveyor belt fashion, they are getting more expensive and the amount of DLC increasing rapidly, whilst on disc or originally shipped content is decreasing. We get more and more sequels and what is basically episodic content with no real change in any of them. I stopped running on that treadmill way back at the end of MW2- no way was I going to fork out more money for the same shit with more peppers and onion on it.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Bashtee

    @1 Except for Dragon Age, all titles were released in 2008. I doubt that they finished those games within 1-2 years. Most of the games released afterwards got lots and lots of DLC or extra content for cash.

    There was an interview with Riccitiello, where he speculated about mirco-payment in games like Battlefield 3. He was talking about paying for reloading, because the customer didn’t care in that moment and so on.

    I agree, he didn’t know much about games, only about milking gamers.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. YoungZer0

    Thanks OBAMA!

    #7 2 years ago
  8. blackdreamhunk

    Two words mass effect!consoles pulling down publishers and game Devs.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. The_Red

    I don’t think he is wrong about the huge clustefuck of untalented and uncreative executives BUT pretty much every big publisher is full of them. The difference between EA’s execs and most others is that others are a bit better than milking their franchises and earning money.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. roadkill

    Dragon Age Origin was in the works years before Bioware joined EA. And then came Dragon Age 2.. :)

    Also this person is correct. The only reason for which there were some good titles in there was because some amazing developers. EA had nothing to do with it. Giving so much money to so few people is f**ked up. It’s also one of the the reasons why some developers are being shut down.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Max Payne

    Masss Effect 1 = Open planets and vehicle to explore
    Mass Effect 2 = Linear corridor shooter.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Hussar

    @Max_payne: Mass Effect 3 = makes moral choices. But whatever… At the end, nobody gives a fuck about them.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. NeoSquall

    @11 More like “Open planets where you use a poor excuse for an APC to roam the surface in search for money interspersed with cramped, linear mission maps”.

    Anyway, anonymous “exec” is butthurt because Riccitiello didn’t listen to him, ’nuff said.

    #13 2 years ago

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