EA promises ‘fewer, better, bigger’ titles

EA has begun 2011 in much the same way as it did in 2010 – by promising fewer, better and bigger titles going forwards.

The mantra was repeated by both CEO John Riccitiello and COO John Schappert in a conference call to investors, according to Gamsutra.

The claims, though, are put into perspective by EA’s bumper Q1 2011 release schedule which includes a number of big-hitting releases including Mass Effect 2 on PS3, Dead Space 2, Dragon Age II, Crysis 2, Bulletstorm, Shift 2, Fight Night Champion, Darkspore and Tiger Woods 12.

EA added that so far in its fiscal 2010/2011 the company has reduced its staff count by 9.3 per cent to 7,742, resulting in a seven per cent reduction in operating expenses.

Despite this, revenues per title are up 25 per cent year-to-date.

And echoing the firm’s growing success on digital platforms, Schappert played down the potential impact of 3D gaming in favour of the growing opportunities in digital markets.

"My personal view is the larger idea, at least for the present, would be the connected game," he stated. "I’m more in the camp that IPTV is a bigger idea for gaming, at least in the near term, than 3D is. It just provides a better social experience and you know that consumers playing with one another is a very positive and powerful motivator.

"While there’s no doubt that our industry will have its ‘Avatar’, where 3D is a defining aspect of the game, I’m mostly interested, with all the mobile devices that are coming out, in how they’re being connected to one another and how the same IP is shared over the top.

"I think that’s actually a bigger driver for EA and the industry in the near term. Today, we estimate that digital sales represent roughly 30 per cent of revenue in Western markets and roughly 45 per cent worldwide – sales not captured in the retail tracking data."

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