In an interview with the Financial Times, EA CEO John Riccitiello has once again been describing his firm’s new attitude to games studios, saying "I’m trying to bring great quality and innovation back".
As we’ve covered extensively here on Developmag.com, last year Riccitiello returned to the post of CEO of the company after a three-year spell looking after independents Pandemic and BioWare for VC firm Elevation, where upon he started reforming the publisher’s sprawing operation.
He explained to the FT: "I spent three years outside EA managing independent developers, while EA ran a global monolithic studio organisation. I thought central command and control homogenisation had run its course."
He added: "Above all, I’m trying to bring great quality and innovation back… I’m also trying to drive us towards a variety of new business models, whether it be subscription or micro-transactions, or advertising-based."
Most importantly, he said that EA can be the games medium’s defining core company – like Disney is to animation.
"I read a book on how every medium creates one great company: animation created Disney CBS was created by radio, NBC by television," he said.
"Interactive entertainment is going to determine one great company and I think it’s this one. One of the reasons I’ve come back is to try to take it to the next step."
He also described the games industry as having a ‘massive’ rate of change: "The games industry 10 years ago was a toy business in the minds of most consumers. Toys R Us at the time merchandised products alphabetically so Monsters toys were next to Madden, Barbies were next to boxing games."
Riccitiello also described the Rockstar-produced GTAIV – a key point in EA’s attempted take-over of Take 2 – as the equivalent of a ‘Best Picture Oscar’: "The buzz in Hollywood, which I heard from some Hollywood folks… is people are worried whether Iron Man the movie is going to get killed by Grand Theft Auto the game."