EA promises risks with new and old franchises

By Stephany Nunneley, Saturday, 7 February 2009 19:00 GMT


During the annual company town hall meeting this week, EA’s John Riccitiello assured employees that despite Q3 losses announced on Tuesday, the company still plans to take risks with both new and proven franchises.

Comms boss Jeff Brown reiterated this when he told Kotaku: “We can take risks because we are pretty sure our blockbusters are going to generate good revenue that allow us some cushion. So we’re not living hand to mouth.”

With EA releasing more proven IPs to retail this year, Brown said this does not mean that there will be a lack of new titles.

“We are working on Dante’s Inferno, Dragon Age, things like that, new games, either announced or about to be announced,” he said.

“You will not be able to see a dramatic drop off original IP.”

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter does not agree, though, and feels that developers can’t afford to take such risks, referring to financial pickles both EA and THQ got themselves into last year.

“If you take too many in a row you end up with no money and no franchises,” he said.

“Even EA got in trouble last year doing way too much. The right idea is to have your core franchises and then take measured risks.

“It’s easier to sell a (bad) Iron Man game or a 50 Cent game with the right license and it’s hard to create a new Dead Space. The cost of potential failure (on a new idea) is too high.

“I think you’re going to see moving forward one new game a year from a publisher, not five.”

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