EA: Innovation is more important than ever

Electronic Arts may be focusing more and more resources on fewer and fewer super-brands, but it insists it is equally committed to creating new franchises and working with pioneering studios.

In the last few years, the publisher has reacted to changing market conditions by dramatically reducing its output.

In FY09 it released 67 titles. In the financial year that has just started, it will release just 25 – but will commit more people, time and marketing money to them, as well as supplementing them with ongoing digital content.

But the tightened schedule with heightened expectations still leaves room for experimental projects, says UK marketing director Stuart Lang.

We can’t neglect new IP, new genres, new talent and new opportunities,” he said. I think that particularly with our Partners division where we are working with some talented developers.

We’ve been partnered with Valve for a number of years now, and Portal 2 is a massive priority for us.

Shadows of the Damned (due in June) from Suda 51 and Shinji Mikami is undeniably punk rock. It’s certainly going to raise some eyebrows and you wouldn’t expect anything else from those guys.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning – due on Xbox 360, PS3, PC in 2012 – is an extremely high quality RPG and Alice, from American McGee, is just exceptional.

I think these are very compelling experiences that complement the existing portfolio.

If you look at the shift in EA over the last few years it’s pretty profound.

If you look at our reputation amongst a key, influencing gaming audience, that’s where it all begins and it was vital that we went back and addressed that – and we have.”

To read MCV’s full interview with Lang, head over to our Features Section.

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