Speaking at DICE, which finished yesterday in Las Vages, EA boss John Riccitiello has shouldered blame for failing to maintain the creative dominance of several large studios acquired by the publisher.
"At EA we've had our share of failures with the acquisitions of developers," he said. "Westwood, Bullfrog, Origin Systems - these places no longer exist today and are no longer creative forces in the industry. There was a fundamental belief that we could be one happy family. We had a top-down approach to development. We at EA blew it. I would say I blew it."
He said that EA's answer to a "disturbing" current, industry-wide financial situation has been to form a "city-state" approach whereby developers largely govern their own fortunes but are part of an overall business network. Bioware and Pandemic - the mega-studio EA bought last year - will be the perfect test of this fresh model, he said.
"I can't guarantee that this is going to be the perfect example, but I think you'll find they buy into this idea as much as I do."