Your donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » EA - John Riccitiello Steps Down as CEO

Default EA - John Riccitiello Steps Down as CEO

March 19th, 2013, 01:37
John Riccitiello, CEO EA, to step down on March 30th 2013, according to The Penny Arcade Report. And here's the reason why:
"My decision to leave EA is really all about my accountability for the shortcomings in our financial results this year," he wrote. It currently looks like we will come in at the low end of, or slightly below, the financial guidance we issued to the Street, and we have fallen short of the internal operating plan we set one year ago. And for that, I am 100 percent accountable.
What do you think this means for EA's partners, and by partners I mean Bioware?
More information.
aries100 is offline


RPGWatch Team RPGWatch Donor


Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark, Europe
Posts: 2,089


March 19th, 2013, 01:37
praise jesus

maybe ea can reform, maybe death is not the only option
borcanu is offline


borcanu's Avatar


Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ro
Posts: 772


March 19th, 2013, 01:43
Of course he doesn't mention the 100 million dollar exit bonus he will probably get for failing at his job.
DarNoor is offline




Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 392


March 19th, 2013, 02:05
It will be unlikely to improve but I don't think EA could get much worse then it has been. They will continue to destroy games one at a time and continue to destroy game developers one studio at a time.
guenthar is offline




Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,578
Send a message via Skype™ to guenthar


March 19th, 2013, 02:06
I see this as good and bad. A new CEO with a different vision might even make EA worse. I remember talk last year about this and who might replace him.

Bioware was diluted and sequels like Dragon’s Age II were forced out the door. From 2010 on, the failures seem more and more complete as many of EA’s headlining games debuted to either critical derision, poor sales, or poor management.

Bioware’s doctors left the company late last year following Riccitello’s second, expensive stab at tackling World of Warcraft with Star Wars The Old Republic, a game that went free-to-play within a year.

The Mass Effect 3 conclusion debacle, EA’s feud with Steam and unsatisfactory handling of their own service, their failure to make sense in the mobile game space, a vow to tuck in micro transactions into every game, their disastrous SimCity launch. Also lets not forget Crysis 3 and Deadspace 3 there sales were not explosive either. When the rain came, it poured.

It makes sense why Riccitello is being shown the door, and why his successor now has a long, hard road in front of them. Riccitello at least tried to please gamers and it worked for a while.

He tried to turn EA around and he couldn't. Instead he brought EA to the same rut they were six years ago. It was a dream to think that Riccitello could have solved the company’s problems I don't think anyone can at this point.

"It's quite simple my word is the law around here, and failure to comply means termination."

RPGWatch News Editor & Moderator
Last edited by Couchpotato; March 19th, 2013 at 02:39.
Couchpotato is offline


Couchpotato's Avatar
Evil Potato Overlord
RPGWatch Team


Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Potato Land
Posts: 10,778


March 19th, 2013, 02:14
This is actually quite frightening to me. As a long-time EA hater (hate, with venom), the fact that they pull every trick in the book to milk every last dollar out of the profit margin— yet still lost money, tells me that the gaming business is in trouble.

As much as I hate them, EA still is one of the few companies pumping out solid, albeit at times flawed, triple-A games anymore. They are as much necessary as they are unavoidable.
ChaosTheory is offline


ChaosTheory's Avatar


Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: People's Republic of Wisconsin
Posts: 595


March 19th, 2013, 02:35
I can't say that I will ever bother with a AAA game again anyway.
Santos is offline




Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: NH
Posts: 573


March 19th, 2013, 02:37

Bring on the next overpaid douchebag in an overpriced suit. Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.
Capt. Huggy Face is offline

Capt. Huggy Face

Capt. Huggy Face's Avatar
Magicky Utok


Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,086


March 19th, 2013, 02:51
Maybe EA is just too big, like an overgrown whale. The company seems to be moving from one scandal to next. Like: ea banning people from playing their paid sp games, da2 fiasko, sim city online drm etc. I don't think people have many positive things to say about EA nowdays.

Only thing EA seems to be good at is destroying independent studios. How long is the list today?

However this could be a good thing or a bad thing. New CEO could make EA easily even worse than it is now or he could try turning the company around. LOL who am I kidding, its snowballs chance of hell to see that happening.

Originally Posted by DarNoor View Post
Of course he doesn't mention the 100 million dollar exit bonus he will probably get for failing at his job.
I quess we know now where all the dlc profits went.
Dez is offline


Dez's Avatar
Watcher of The Keep


Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,211


March 19th, 2013, 03:11
I'll be short:
Good news.

Toka Koka
joxer is offline


joxer's Avatar
The Smoker
RPGWatch Donor


Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 6,744


March 19th, 2013, 03:46
Originally Posted by Dez View Post
Maybe EA is just too big, like an overgrown whale. The company seems to be moving from one scandal to next. Like: ea banning people from playing their paid sp games, da2 fiasko, sim city online drm etc. I don't think people have many positive things to say about EA nowdays.
It is always possible that EA has grown too large for the business and they are no longer benefiting from economies of scale. Hopefully they'll bring in a CEO who has a bit of vision and understands the entertainment business.
rjshae is offline


RPGWatch Donor


Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,647


March 19th, 2013, 05:05
Coming in 'slightly below' market expectations doesn't make a CEO resign. This is blowback from EA's consistently bad decision making.

"I am 100 percent accountable"

Classic misdirection. There were dozens, if not hundreds, of employees who signed off on EA's retarded business decisions. By taking the blame and stepping down, he is shielding all his buddies who will use their networking to get him a lucrative position at another company.

It's all about who you know, and who owes you favors.
flabbyjack is offline


flabbyjack's Avatar


Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 17
Send a message via AIM to flabbyjack


March 19th, 2013, 05:33
I will never buy a game that is designed around nickle-and-diming the game player with "micro transactions", what a scam business model. Maybe EA needs to re-examine their game design philosophy, no wonder they aren't doing so well.
Arkadia7 is offline


Arkadia7's Avatar


Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 400


March 19th, 2013, 06:09
I'm rapidly losing interest in AAA games anyway. The studio currently known as Bioware has very little in common with the studio that made games like the Balder's Gate series and KOTOR.

Actually, come to that the kinds of games that got me into gaming like Civ 2, SimCity (original and 2000), Fallouts, Torment, BG etc just don't have much in common with the vast majority of what the big studios are putting out these days. What is fantastic, though, is that smaller and medium sized studios and companies are now starting to fill the niche and make the kinds of games I want to play.

So as far as companies like Activision, EA, Ubisoft go, I just don't care much anymore. They seem to be pursuing a hostile relationship to their customers, they make bland trite crap games that are all cover-shooters or interactive movies with stupid stories.

If you want a good story, there are plenty of great books out there, there are a number of authors doing great things with fantasy these days. Consider Daniel Abraham, Joe Abercrombie, Patrick Rothfuss, Scott Lynch, and GRRM. Not an elf in sight among those five.

If you want an engaging game made by people who want to embrace their customers, there are plenty out there. I recently bought a game on Steam called StarDrive. It's in Beta, but it's more stable and better balanced than most AAA titles are at release. It's also great fun. We have games like Wasteland 2, AoD, Torment, Project Eternity coming up which all look great. There are some good games out there done by midsize studios as well like Tropico 4, Dark Souls, and Risen.

EA and its ilk can do whatever they like. I don't care anymore. I don't want to be a customer of theirs, and it's great. I just don't have to worry about their abusive DRM and micro-transactions. I don't care how many lies and half-truths they tell about games like SimCity, because I already know they're full of shit and their game is probably a total mess that doesn't stand up to continued playing.
Badesumofu is offline


Badesumofu's Avatar


Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 454


March 19th, 2013, 06:13
Ubisoft bums will be next tossed on the scrapheap. I predict the bigger companies will soon see that forcing people to be online to play solo games and micro transactions out the ying-yang simply does not work. They will adjust or be extinct, and just watch the indie companies laughing their way all the way to the banks, because a lot of them GET IT.

Carnifex is offline




Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, CA
Posts: 1,893


March 19th, 2013, 09:26
@ChaosTheory - Well If EA folds that wouldn't be the end of AAA games, in fact, while it might cause a bit of a trough in the short term, it would open up the market for smaller more agile developers/publishers again.
But anyway I think the classic publisher/developer model is slowly dying, EAs troubles are just a symptom I think. Publishers were needed because they provide market access and funding.
We are now looking at a PC market where the importance of retail is rapidly dwindiling, and developers have access to portals and direct digital distribution, bypassing that role. Although I don't know this market first hand, I am pretty sure this is now happening on the console market as well. (And if the classic consoles don't move, new developments like the Steam Box, Ouya, iPad/iTV may quickly take the butter off their bread).

We are now seeing a number of small and mid-tier developers self-funding through KS. If their games are comercially successful, they will have cash on hand, not only to fund further projects, but this will also make it easier to acquire additional funds, from banks, investors etc. That means, the hold of publishers on the funding side of things is also crumbling. More funding means that the next wave of games from these developers will be less technically constrained than this first wave.
I am also pretty sure we will soon see actual crowd investing. Already you see people pledging thousands of $ on KS, just to see games made and for a dinner with the developers. How many more would do this, if it was an actual investment, with a chance to recoup if the game does well?
So while it will be a long slow process, I think we are heading towards a market dominated by self-funding development houses, and a diminished role of traditional publishers.
GhanBuriGhan is offline


GhanBuriGhan's Avatar
Wose extraordinaire


Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,507


March 19th, 2013, 09:58
This won't matter.

These CEO guys are just doing what they can to follow the company mandate - and in the case of EA - we're talking bottom line and nothing more. It's a big company and that means a lot of investors need to be happy, and numbers need to be big.

You're never going to get a CEO that truly understands gaming and they'll ALWAYS be obligated to think short-term. No one has the courage to take true creative risks and lose money at first to gain respect later. That's just not what happens in that kind of corporate environment.

Please don't talk about games like Dead Space as a creative risk, as that's a joke. They took established paradigms, watered them down, and made it appeal to the mass market - and then threw money at it. That's not a risk. A risk would be to challenge the gamers and their perception of what this kind of game can be. For sure, it's one of the better AAA games in recent times - but it's still an AAA game with all that goes with it. Looking at the latest sequel - we can see what their intentions have been all along.

You can take big risks when you're small and you don't have to please everyone all the time. Not when you're put in place to hold the reigns of a huge machine like this.

EA the company doesn't seem to appreciate the danger of growing too big and being too hated by the public. Eventually, that kind of thing will destroy any company without true vision. I foresee that happening down the line - unless they get really lucky and get themselves a guy with balls and a sense of the art. Not likely

Everything EA has touched for a long time has been infested with microtransactions and their big vision of turning games into a service is absolutely horrible for the consumer. The worst part about it is that the consumer isn't picking up on that - and certainly not the casual consumer. We need look no further than Facebook - to see what kind of shit people enjoy playing and paying for.

Thank the heavens for Kickstarter.
DArtagnan is offline


DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential


Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 15,258


March 19th, 2013, 10:29
I don't think this will make a difference in the least, as the general direction seem set in stone. They're still going to do more micro transactions and more online stuff instead of more single player stuff.
Maylander is offline




Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bergen
Posts: 5,677
Send a message via MSN to Maylander


March 19th, 2013, 10:38
IIRC 200 millions went into development of SWTOR so that makes it most expensive failure in gaming history, someone's head needed to roll for that only.
Nameless one is offline

Nameless one

Nameless one's Avatar


Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sto plains
Posts: 1,260


March 19th, 2013, 15:12
They make 100 million dollars or so from their ultimate team dlc in their sports games, every year. And they still lose money, well done.
Yme is offline


Yme's Avatar


Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Ginnungagap
Posts: 419
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » EA - John Riccitiello Steps Down as CEO
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 08:51.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch