View Full Version : Electronic Arts: Making Up for Missteps (Goal 50% owned IP [intellectual property] )
05 May 2006, 02:35 AM
"Electronic Arts (ERTS (http://tools.thestreet.com/tsc/quotes.html?pg=qcn&symb=ERTS):Nasdaq - news (http://find.thestreet.com/cgi-bin/texis/find/results.html?tkr=ERTS) - research (http://thestreet.investor.reuters.com/reports.aspx?ticker=ERTS) - Cramer's Take (http://find.thestreet.com/cgi-bin/texis/cramertake?tkr=ERTS&site=tsc)) isn't necessarily known for its groundbreaking games.
Sure, the company has had some innovative titles, such as The Sims. But its basic business is updated iterations of key franchises, such as Madden NFL and its Need for Speed racing titles.
That model has served EA well, and the company is now the largest independent video-game publisher.
But there are signs that that model won't work as well now, in an industry making a difficult move to a new generation of game technology. Although the transition has been tough on all the publishers, EA has been hit especially hard. Indeed, over the last two years, the company has endured stagnant sales and slowed earnings. EA has blamed most of its problems on deteriorating market conditions and investments in a wide range of new game technologies (http://www.thestreet.com/tech/gamesandgadgets/10283431.html). But the company also has been hurt by some of its own missteps."
"EA seems to be placing more and more emphasis on developing its own content, as opposed to licensing it from other content owners. Do you have any targets on what percentage of your business you want owned IP [intellectual property] to be?
Our goal is to get over 50%. "
05 May 2006, 01:32 PM
hmmm. EA. what can you really say about EA. Can you really hate on them?? As a former employee of EA, i have to say, it is the pinacle of the games industry as far as companies to work for. Dont we all want to work at the most succesful companies in our sector?
About them rehashing old games. That was one of the more common trash talking subject matters which would come up during the day. It is lame, but at the same time, they do make some good games. On 360, im loving nfsmw, bf2, burnout revenge and tiger woods. Even though they are not a passionate games making company they still manage to come up with some quality goods.
They fill a whole in the market that needs to be there, and for that i cant complain. I only know that they dont make the BEST games. But they still make some pretty decent ones.
05 May 2006, 03:46 PM
To me, There is just no life left in EA games. I won't argue that they make some great games like BF2, Burnout, and others. But they never do enough with the sequils to realy wow me into re-investing in a series when it comes out, there games look great in their first incarnation, but they never do enough after that to sharpen the game up, and to me after they pump out 3 or 4 titles under the same series, they tend to look to me dull and lifeless. There is just no longer that spark that wows me about the graphics. The game play once they find something that works, NEVER changes, and to me, they make a habit of publishing games that have little or VERY generic storys, so nothing realy is behind the backdrop makeing me care about anyone. BLACK to me was so dull and boaring a demo in the store actaly turned me away from the game instead of makeing me want the game.
They seriously need more creativity on their team, and although SPORE is probably the best thing they have thats comeing up that I personaly am exited about, I don't see it as a game that will change my opinions on that company.
As for job wise, I've heard both good and bad things about working from EA (most of them good though.) I have no doubt that it is an exelent place to work for if your willing to put the time into it.
05 May 2006, 04:42 PM
I think gamers complain a lot about EA but look at the industry as a whole. Is EA really making bad games? They fill up all the top 10s. They don't have an army of robots buying those titles, people like the games.
My only problem with them is that all of the best games I played from EA were never made by EA studios, it was only published by EA. So I think they realized that, they realized they always end up having to buy a studio for every new series they want to start, and it might be getting costly as well as give them a bad image (add to this the usual bad licenses).
They know that the top selling series in the world are not licenses. Resident Evil, World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy, God of War, Metal Gear. Those games have a big "cool factor" that generate a lot of word of mouth marketing, it's another way to spend less on marketing (or spend more effectively anyway). Companies like Capcom and Nintendo are respected for their original IPs. That's quite an achievement, and it has major benefits for a company which are usually not accounted for at the end of each fiscal years.
05 May 2006, 04:52 PM
I have to admit, a good chunk of games I have been playing are EA titles (BF2 series and LOTR series), so I don’t think their quality titles are an issue. A good chunk of EA’s titles are franchise games and there is nothing wrong with franchise games, they are cheaper and easier to develop and less risky than new titles. I’m sure there are game companies out there who would trade an arm and a leg to own one of EA’s franchise game. EA has been making money from their games, but they haven’t been breaking even. Their lost comes from the buying spree of other game companies and gambles like expecting to make a profit on next gen consoles when the number of next gen consoles is still very low. One problem they have is being a public company and the having the exec constantly trying to kiss share holders *sses. When money is not flowing, the President has to face the share holder with a bad news and a fix solution: “The BAD news is we lost money, but the GOOD news is we are laying off people. The other problem they have is having aggressive unrealistic game releases (share holders loves game releases…the more the better) and not having the time to give their game the “extra push” to make an above average game and having a smash hit. And when they miss a date, their image gets hammered and it’s all over the news! I see them as the Microsoft of the game industry. It’s very fashionable to criticize their mistakes and overlook any good thing that comes out the company.
05 May 2006, 05:05 PM
EA slaps their title on companies they buy, it doesnt mean they make the best games, they just buy up small companies that are already doing good on their own. And then force their workers into a horrible state of stress and depression.
05 May 2006, 07:04 PM
hmmm. EA. what can you really say about EA. Can you really hate on them?? As a former employee of EA, i have to say, it is the pinacle of the games industry as far as companies to work for. Dont we all want to work at the most succesful companies in our sector?Walmart is the most successful company in its sector, but who wants to work for them? EA is the same. Obviously they make games that sell well, but I have very little respect for them. And after they bought that exclusive deal with the NFL so they wouldn't have to actually compete against other games...well, that's Microsoft style, to me.
I wouldn't rule out working for them at some point, if the project was interesting, but I would be very leery about it.
05 May 2006, 10:26 PM
[QUOTE=pearson] And after they bought that exclusive deal with the NFL so they wouldn't have to actually compete against other games...
How does that exclude EA from competing against other companies? Theres nothing stopping another studio from making a great american football game. Licensing doesn't make a great game, look at Burnout, not a single licensed car in sight and its one of the best and successful driving franchises :)
I work for EA UK and absolutely loving it. Its a great company to work for and the studio has a great atmosphere, everyone smiles and the managers are great and best of all...everyone who works there are really into games and you are encouraged to play games (and yes we can play games from other studios!) From what i've heard from my fellow collegues, other local games studios are not so great to work for (kind of frightening really from what i've heard!).
05 May 2006, 11:15 PM
with a company the size of EA it's really hard to label them as a whole.. you can't call the not innovative because of groups in the company like Blackbox who's technological and creative talent is amazing.
05 May 2006, 11:42 PM
How does that exclude EA from competing against other companies? Theres nothing stopping another studio from making a great american football game. Licensing doesn't make a great game
for sports games, it does. the people who are die hard sports gamers, they want the same starting line-up that their team has. hell, look how popular fantasy football is and thats all about the individual players, not teams. so when EA bought the rights to the NFL, that locked them in and they don't have to worry about any competition in the football sides of things.
as for EA, aaaah.. yeah, they do make some good games, but they also make a lot of bad ones and a lot of rehashed ones too. i personally feel the Burnout franchise has gone down hill since EA bought them. and EA needs to buy some UI developers or something cause their games have waaaay to many menus/sub-menus/options. try playing the newest SSX... menus every where. the first SSX was simple and i was snowboarding within a couple presses of the A button.
but thats just me. hell, we all have our own opinions [well, some of us] but EA has a black eye in the public's view. the general public sees them as the studio that stole the NFL and EAsPORTS. also, every time i play a EA game on xbox live, people complain about the "EA servers sucking" because they use their own live servers.
05 May 2006, 12:42 PM
hey dont forget about the nfsmw UI. Iv never experienced such confusion and diisorientation. Iv completed the game now, and i still dont know where all the frigging menus are and what they do, how they work.
that is abismal. how can i have completed the game and still now know these things. tisk tisk. youd think someone with the skill to create the UI would at least have an ideaof what good UI is.
05 May 2006, 12:42 PM
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