Electronic Arts’ troubles – fiscal losses, massive job cuts, a thinning roster, waning market confidence – serve as an illustration of the whole industry’s troubles. The firm’s second-in-command, COO John Schappert used his DICE presentation in Las Vegas to show the industry a way out.
He said EA and the games industry must acknowledge that quality will always win through, must focus its attentions on perfecting the franchises that consumers really enjoy. He used EAs rejuvenation of the FIFA brand as an example. "We have to make the games that consumers want," he said.
Schappert claimed that the company’s marketing campaign for Dante’s Inferno, including a bold Superbowl spot, illustrated the wisdom of backing product launches with appropriately weighty marketing budgets and innovative campaigns.
While advising caution about the growth and value of social gaming, he said that every company in the industry had to consider the fundamental business model shift to online and take appropriate actions. But he said that the retail model is still dominant, and a company like EA could not afford to take its eye off this sector.
And he said that the industry would pull through by following the visions of its most creative minds, and by regarding depressing headlines and the prophets of doom with a healthy dose of skepticism.