EA: We dropped the ball in the console transition
EA's CEO John Riccitiello told the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference of their struggles to manage the transition from the the Xbox and PS2 to the 360 and PS3.
He explained: "Through this last transition to the PS3 era... for a whole bunch of reasons that are worth getting into, I think it's fair to say we dropped the ball. Our IP deteriorated, our costs went up, and we didn't really have an answer for the rise in digital."
Of course, EA are now in a much better position now thanks to their expansion into mobile and social gaming sectors with the acquisition of companies like Playfish and Chillingo and some judicious use of the free-to-play model with Battlefield Heroes and the upcoming Battlefield Play4Free.
Riccitiello added: "As the head of our Playfish division likes to say, 'There's no such thing as free to play... it's play first, pay later,' and that's a very compelling model. Another part of the strategy is to leverage EA's key brands in the free-to-play market. "Our FIFA business is a leader on iPhone, a leader on Android, a leader on social networks, a leader on free to play. We did it with Dead Space, we did it with Mass Effect, we did it with Dragon Age, we did it with The Sims."