The latest cost cutting measures (to the tune of around half a billion dollars) are only one part of EA's strategy to remain the market leader in 2009, with the publisher also ramping up the number of Wii games in development. Nintendo may well find a true competitor from a third-party publisher for the first time ever, should EA walk the talk on Wii.
Ed Barton notes that, "the production cost of Wii games is a fraction of the cost of producing an HD game so shifting the platform mix in Nintendo's favour might yield excellent results, provided EA can successfully appeal to the Wii gamer."
Though the analyst is also quick to remind us that other publishers "have found out the hard way that this is a long way from being as straightforward as Nintendo seems to make it."
EA is also going to focus far heavier on its key franchises, "trimming the release list and increasing development and marketing resource for the games it believes will perform best and reshaping itself to deliver results in an environment where consumers and retailers are becoming far pickier about what they purchase."
No new IP in 2009
Might gamers see more new IP developed in 2009 at EA?
The Screen Digest man remains unconvinced, and is concerned that "EA management's appetite for risky publishing endeavours may decrease somewhat, which would be sad given the quality and variety of games based on new IP that it has delivered in the last year."
Overall, TechRadar is in agreement with Games Investor Consulting that EA's recent move across to developing quality new IP was a brave strategy to take and, as Nick Gibson notes, "in so doing they are exposing themselves to a much higher risk form of games publishing where product quality and sales volumes are far less predictable.
"In many respects EA is having to re-learn the art of games publishing and this is likely to take time."