Electronic Arts gathered key retail and media partners in West London last week for its annual Showcase event, where it put the spotlight on its biggest releases for the year and discussed some headline strategy points.
During a brief introductory speech, UK marketing director Stuart Lang outlined the company’s four “key principles” for FY12.
These were: fewer and bigger brands; increased digital activity, both in terms of content delivery and consumer engagement; expansion of direct-to-consumer/free-to-play offering; and an ongoing commitment to new IP and new genres.
He told attendees: “Our fewer and bigger brands strategy is already paying off, ensuring we deliver high quality products and services on a consistent basis.”
He also said that the firm had made “great strides” in the shooter market, having doubled its market share in 2010 (from eight per cent to 16) and that after starting 2011 with Bulletstorm and Crysis 2, it will deliver “the strongest release in the sector this year” in the form of Battlefield 3 in Q4.
It might not have quite been a Riccitiello-esque declaration of war on Activision and Call of Duty, but it re-emphasises the importance of the game to EA this year.
Lang went on to state that last year’s Hot Pursuit and this month’s Shift 2 Unleashed have “re-invigorated the racing category and put the Need for Speed franchise once again at the forefront of the genre, commercially and critically”.
He also pointedly reaffirmed EA’s commitment to original content and independent studios: “One question thrown up by the fewer/bigger strategy is are we neglecting new IP and new genres – and that is resolutely not the case, far from it.”
To back up the point he highlighted Portal 2, American McGee’s Alice: Madness Returns, Kings of Amalur: Reckoning and Shadows of the Damned.