EA boss shifts strategy to embrace mobile and social

EA boss stresses the importance of mobile and social gaming to the publisher's future publishing strategy
EA boss stresses the importance of mobile and social gaming to the publisher's future publishing strategy

Following announcements of a narrower-than-expected loss for the last financial quarter, EA boss John Riccitiello said that mobile and social gaming, alongside new motion-control tech, is fundamentally changing the nature of games publishing and that EA is shifting its publishing strategy to reflect these changes.

Speaking on a conference call in which EA reported decent financial gains for its first fiscal quarter (the quarter ending June 30), with decent sales of both digital and packaged games resulting in slightly better-than-expected revenues, Riccitiello outlined his company's new focus on digital and social gaming.

iPad and Android gaming

"Most of us recognize that the industry has radically changed and the pace of change has altered dramatically," said Riccitiello. "Eighteen months ago there was no iPad. Google was just experimenting with Android. Most games were a single-revenue opportunity.

"We intend to finish this fiscal year a much different company than when we started," Riccitiello said.

The EA boss stressed that motion-sensing games and the boom in mobile apps were both changing the very fabric of videogame development and publishing, which means that EA now thinks of its game launches as "year round events" as opposed to those one-off bing-bang launches in the past.

The big news that wasn't forthcoming from this week's conference call was the fact that there are no new details to share on the forthcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic, so we hope to hear a lot more about that particular title from Gamescom in Germany next month.

EA Sports head honcho Peter Moore noted that the forthcoming FIFA 12 will launch on a total of 12 different gaming platforms later this year. Moore also revealed that the average revenue to EA of a paying gamer on Facebook is $56 per annum.

With an impressive array of big hitters coming up later this year, including Star Wars: The Old Republic, Battlefield 3, FIFA 12, Madden NFL 12, as well as new versions of The Sims on social platforms and its new Origin digital game distribution store, EA looks like it is set for yet another lucrative year in gaming.

Via Venturebeat

Adam Hartley