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New EA CEO Promises "Quality Innovation" & Fast Feedback-Led Development

Jonathan Lester
Andrew Wilson, CEO, EA

New EA CEO Promises "Quality Innovation" & Fast Feedback-Led Development

Wilson: "We Are Working To Fail As Fast As Possible"

EA's top spot has been filled by Andrew Wilson, who previously headed up EA Sports. The new CEO has spoken out on what to expect from his reign, such as a focus on "quality" and "listening to consumers every step of the way."

He also promises to "fail as fast as possible," which isn't how it sounds. We'll explain below.

“Quality innovation at the core game level is the foundation for everything we do,” Wilson explained in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

"The establishment of a service that extends and enhances that experience so that the experience is dynamic and ever changing as you play is the future of what we do. And the ability to connect gamers and fans with each other, connect their experience across platforms and connect them to a rich and broad pipeline of fantastic games and services is what will drive that ongoing engagement and ultimately the profitable growth of this company."

Wilson acknowledges that this is a challenging time for console publishing, but suggests that there's plenty of room for the market to grow while also exploring mobile platforms. "For us, we believe there is absolutely growth in consoles driven by amazing games and services but, at the same time, the expanding user base as a result of mobile, PC free-to-play and emerging markets, represents a very significant opportunity for us that we’re going to investigate."

"The reality is that big games are not as easy," he continued. "Games are getting bigger, they are cross-platform, they’re live-service driven, and demands on games now are higher now than they’ve ever been in our history. At the same time, the level of immersion and engagement they offer is also higher."

“We are working diligently to ensure we maintain operational excellence by putting the right people in place. We are working to fail as fast as possible, and listening to our consumers every step of the way to ensure we are delivering on what they expect from us.”

Wait... "working to fail as fast as possible"? That's an odd turn of phrase, which the WSJ were similarly quick to notice. When asked for clarification, Wilson explained that user feedback is incredibly important, meaning that developers will keep fans and players in the loop to root out potential problems and fix it in an iterative process. "You have to figure out what works and what doesn’t very quickly, to ensure the consumers get the best of everything you make," Wilson said. "And it is a culture and philosophy that will underpin how we go to market in the future to make sure we’re delivering experiences that live up to consumer expectations."

Strong words for the new EA boss, but actions speak louder. EA have been earning brownie points all over the shop recently following Riccitiello's departure, so could this be the start of a major PR turnaround for the much-maligned publisher?

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