Riccitiello: EA "Dropped The Ball"...
During a speech at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco, EA boss John Riccitiello admitted that the mega-publisher have lost their way after a ropey transitional period. Their core IPs dropped to a meagre 3 during the launch of the PS3, but the exec states that EA is now back on course thanks to a killer portfolio.
If you go back seven years, we were the leader. And we dropped the ball. Our IP deteriorated, our costs went up, and we didn’t really have an answer for the rise of digital.
We [now] have the strongest intellectual property portfolio by far in the games industry today.
Riccitiello also stated that the digital marketplace is the "fastest growing part" of their business. EA are already consumer enemy number one when it comes to DLC deluges, microtransactions and 'project ten dollar' (with new Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2 content spawning every few seconds)... and it looks like this phenomenon is only going to increase over this next year.
People seem to like paying for games. Play first pay later – that’s a very compelling model for today’s gamer.
Sigh. We'd better get plenty of Microsoft Points ready for Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age 2 then. [VG247]
In other Electronic Arts news, EA's Patrick Soderlund has announced that Mirror's Edge 2 will never see the light of day. DICE have been working on a sequel to the brave yet flawed parkour platformer since last year, but EA have canned the pr0ject after looking at the prototype in action (and probably vomiting copiously due to motion sickness). [bit-tech]
Most gamers won't mourn its loss, but in our opinion, Mirror's Edge deserved another run at the title. We'd love to get your take on the situation in the comments!
UPDATE: EA has reportedly been hit by three high-profile departures, including BioWare Austin vice president Gordon Walton and two senior Playfish employees. We'll keep an eye on the situation. [EDGE]
BioShock Movie On Hold Due To "Teen Friendly" Concerns
Reknowned director Gore Verbinski has confirmed that due to concerns over tone. Apparently financial backers are unwilling to throw significant capital behind an R-rated movie that couldn't be consumed by the profitable teen audience- but Verbinski was unwilling to water down the experience.
I wasn't really interested in pursuing a PG-13 version. Because the R rating is inherent. Little Sisters and injections and the whole thing. I just wanted to really, really make it a movie where, four days later, you're still shivering and going, 'Jesus Christ!'
It's a movie that has to be really, really scary, but you also have to create a whole underwater world, so the price tag is high. We just didn't have any takers on an R-rated movie with that price tag. - Gore Verbinski to ComingSoon
We'd like to congratulate Mr Verbinski for not sacrificing his artistic integrity- as well as that of the Bioshock franchise- by cashing in on the teen audience. Outstanding. [ComingSoon]
German Police Challenge Helghast Infantry
We couldn't make this up. During a Munich press event and photo shoot ahead of Killzone 3's European launch, armed police swooped in to subdue and arrest an actor dressed as a Helghast trooper! Luckily the model was released without charge after the 'authentic' replica weapon turned out to be a plastic toy- but we reckon the ISA are hiring the wrong guys to take care of the Helghast menace. [Gamezone.de]
In other Killzone 3 news, SCEA has unveiled a game and PS3 hardware bundle for Guerilla's upcoming shooter. It's only been announced for the States thus far, but it ties in nicely with a rogue European Amazon listing. We'll have a full review of Killzone 3 very soon, but for now, why not check out Felix's Beta Impressions?