Speaking to Kotaku, Electronic Arts’ new CEO Andrew Wilson spoke about why he thinks the company has won Consumerist’s “Worst Company in America” poll two years running and what he intends to do to fix that. In the interview he highlights annual sequelization as one of the potential problems, as well as establishing a “culture of innovation” at the company that “kills” bad projects before they get to market.
Interestingly, when discussing his philosophies for winning back the hearts and minds of EA’s customer base, Wilson frames everything in terms of investment and deals.
“There are lots of really big public companies that make a lot of money that are loved by their consumers. That’s because the consumers feel like they get value from that company in the investment in their dollars [and] time.
“Any time we create something, if you’re asking for an investment from the consumer in dollars and time, make sure they feel like they’re stealing from you and that they are getting the best end of that deal and the rest will follow. And that will be our philosophy”
Better games more quickly might seem like an oxymoron, but it’s at the core of Wilson’s plan to rescue the company’s public image.
“We need a mechanism and a process which we can get to better games more quickly. If we can be faulted for anything, over the years, it’s kind of hanging on to ideas or concepts of games too long, driving too hard against them, spending too much to the point that we couldn’t invest in other opportunities and ideas.”
Apparently the key to innovation is to me aggressive in killing projects that aren’t going anywhere, freeing up time for the people who would have previously worked on getting it to market. DLC is another area where Wilson thinks EA is on the right track, arguing that the company is “player-driven and not driven by a short-term financial decisions”, holding up Battlefield 3’s Premium model as something that delivers consumer value while making money for EA.