Running Electronic Arts (EA)'s Q2 financial numbers yesterday, we noted the company seemed like it would be moving away from "high risk" titles like Mirror's Edge, Brutal Legend, and others. This is further encouraged by CEO John Riccitiello's elaborating in a conference call, saying they've already cut anything all but assured to sell big:
"Electronic Arts has a core slate of games label and sports franchises that we will iterate on a either annual or bi-annual basis. And I think you know what those major titles are – all of them are selling or have sold in their most recent edition 2m units or more. After that, we’ve got The Sims and Hasbro, and frankly anything that doesn’t measure up to looking like it can pencil out to be in very high profit contributor and high unit seller got cut from our title slate from this point going forward."
Sadly, this sounds a lot like what Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said about its investments last year, which some outlets have dubbed the company the "McDonald's of video game publishing" for:
[The games we didn't pick up] don't have the potential to be exploited every year on every platform with clear sequel potential and have the potential to become $100 million franchises. … I think, generally, our strategy has been to focus… on the products that have those attributes and characteristics, the products that we know [that] if we release them today, we'll be working on them 10 years from now."
Is this a return to the "old EA"? We sure hope not.
We'd asked directly if this meant the end for Mirror's Edge and the like; as of 9:30AM PST, we've received no response.