EA Boss Admits: We Have A Problem
from the first-step dept
Like the movie industry, the videogame industry has become enamored with sequels which are generally seen as safe money makers. But the strategy hasn’t really gone according to plan in either industry, as many highly touted sequels end up as busts, while the market as a whole suffers from the lack of creativity or daring. Of the videogame makers, perhaps no company has milked its franchises the way Electronic Arts has, as it pumps out new versions of its sports-based games every year. For a while, the company was a Wall Street darling, as its annual upgrades were seen as must haves for fans, giving the kind of regular subscription revenue that investors love to see. But the company’s sales haven’t been so hot of late, and it’s finally recognizing that it’s not creating much value by offering endless iterations of each game. The new CEO admits that if the company doesn’t do a better job in the innovation department, it’s going to continue to suffer. This is, of course, a lesson that Hollywood bosses have been reluctant to admit, even though it’s been obvious for some time. Perhaps EA’s willingness to be introspective is owed to the fact that it doesn’t have piracy to blame for its problems. Although there’s scant evidence that piracy is at the root of Hollywood’s ills, the studios have been able to delude themselves into thinking that their problems are somehow out of their control. On a related front, Sony announced that it will slash prices on the PS3 in hopes of turning around the system’s weak sales. While this may be a necessary move in the short run, it doesn’t do much to address the deeper problems at the company, which, like EA, has suffered from a lack of creativity and vision.