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EA - All News

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Sunday - July 27, 2014
Monday - July 14, 2014
Tuesday - July 01, 2014
Friday - December 06, 2013
Tuesday - September 10, 2013
Wednesday - May 08, 2013
Monday - May 06, 2013
Monday - March 18, 2013
Wednesday - July 04, 2012
Saturday - February 04, 2012
Friday - December 02, 2011
Saturday - September 03, 2011
Tuesday - June 14, 2011
Friday - June 03, 2011
Wednesday - June 01, 2011
Tuesday - July 27, 2010
Sunday - July 25, 2010
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Tuesday - July 20, 2010
Tuesday - April 20, 2010
Wednesday - January 27, 2010
Wednesday - December 09, 2009
Wednesday - December 02, 2009
Tuesday - November 17, 2009
Wednesday - July 22, 2009
Wednesday - June 24, 2009
Thursday - March 26, 2009
Monday - July 28, 2008
Thursday - March 13, 2008
Sunday - February 24, 2008
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Thursday - August 10, 2006
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Box Art

Sunday - July 27, 2014

EA - Plan To Make Their Games Better

by Couchpotato, 16:07

Kotaku has a new article that talks about EA, and how they plan to make their future games better. The article uses the current announcement of the delays as proof.

EA is going to do some obvious things—and some unusual things—to make games that work better and that you'll like more, the company's CEO, Andrew Wilson, recently explained to me during an interview in L.A. If there's a recurring theme, it could be summed up in a word: "early." Or, maybe, "earlier."

Monday - July 14, 2014

EA - Origin Client Investigation Begins

by Couchpotato, 06:25

WCCF Tech has news on an on-going investigation on EA's Origin Client. The concern is the client is spying on you by file snooping. This was a concern a few years back also.

Update: A slight clarification on my part. The screenshot only proves that the origin client is actively looking at the list of the programs recently run. Basically it shows that origin is aware of the files you have on your PC (that have been run).

[Report] A very interesting thread on the Reddit was sent to me by my colleague Tyler Roemhildt. It turns out that EA is snooping files aka spying on your usage habits via the Origin client. And it looks like this is more or less confirmed because Origin representatives claim “they are trying to get to the bottom of this”.

Privacy is a very sensitive topic in the world of Internet and one of the biggest gaming clients spying in your usage habits is cause for concern. Now what exactly does “usage habits” mean? Well, from the looks of it, Origin is taking its merry time looking around the personal files on your computer, most probably when they are running, and this includes your browser as well. Now while we do not know whether it can spy on your browsing activity as well, the mere fact that it is accessing the browser process is discerning.

Tuesday - July 01, 2014

EA - Peter Moore on Health of the Gaming Industry

by Aries100, 17:28

Gamesindustri.biz has talked with Peter Moore, COO of EA, about the health of the gaming industry.  Here's his general take:

"I think we're going into almost a golden age of gaming, where it doesn't matter where you are, at any time, any place, any price point, any amount of time, there's a game available to you," Moore said. "And our job as a company is to provide those game experiences. And then on our big franchises, tie them all together."

He also adresses the fact that some core gamers don't like change:

"I think the challenge sometimes is that the growth of gaming... there's a core that doesn't quite feel comfortable with that," Moore said. "Your readers, the industry in particular. I don't get frustrated, but I scratch my head at times and say, 'Look. These are different times.' And different times usually evoke different business models. Different consumers come in. They've got different expectations. And we can either ignore them or embrace them, and at EA, we've chosen to embrace them."

Here's a rather interesting quote about how the public reacted to EA's media briefing
at E3 2014:

As an example, Moore said he spent the first night of E3 pouring over Twitter reactions to the EA media briefing, where it showed off very early looks at its new Star Wars, Mirror's Edge, and Mass Effect games, as well as glimpses of untitled Bioware and Criterion projects. "Half the people loved the fact that we were showing well into the future," Moore said. "And then the other 50 percent were basically calling BS because it was conceptual prototypes (which is how we build games, by the way). So you're kind of damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Source: CVG

Friday - December 06, 2013

Heroes of Dragon Age - Now Available

by Couchpotato, 03:43

EA annouces that the F2P Heroes of Dragon Age is now avaiable.

Heroes of Dragon Age is now available on the App Store and Google Play

A strategic combat game available for iPhone, iPad , iPod touch, Android devices and tablets worldwide .

For all fans of the Dragon Age world , the wait is finally over. Today , EA has announced the release of Heroes of Dragon Age on the App Store and Google Play. Designated as " free fighting game franchise that all Dragon Age fans waiting " by Inside Mobile Apps, Heroes of Dragon Age offers you the opportunity to gather all the legendary world of Dragon Age heroes and control in epic 3D battles. Future teachers of Dragon Age , you can compete against opponents from around the world and bosses in perilous quests from the successful saga of epic RPG impression of darkness. Over 100 heroes are available: rare dragons , giant golems and other creatures devastating abilities , stats and unique factions. Absorb powers combine heroes and use a diverse range of runes to increase the power of your team.

Thanks to the exceptional quality of its graphics and special effects , Heroes of Dragon Age is a dazzling game . Call the best teams to win trophies and get top rankings, while rediscovering places, environments and scenarios directly from Thedas .

Tuesday - September 10, 2013

Heroes of Dragon Age - Preview @ BeefJack

by Couchpotato, 00:11

BeefJack has a short preview with some information about EA's F2P game Heroes of Dragon Age.

United with its peers by its universe and leveraging of the familiar, EA Capital Games isn’t resigning Heroes of Dragon Age to mere ‘one-off’ status. No, as HoDA executive producer Jeferson Valadares told BeefJack, the team is banking on more with this mobile, combat-focused outing.

Though described as a “new and separate experience within the Dragon Age world,” Valadares also established, in offering what few teases he could, that further plans are in store for Heroes of Dragon Age beyond what’s been confirmed; its induction into said world may well give rise to some characteristic yet still ambitious directions in gameplay.

United with its peers by its universe and leveraging of the familiar, EA Capital Games isn’t resigning Heroes of Dragon Age to mere ‘one-off’ status. No, as HoDA executive producer Jeferson Valadares told BeefJack, the team is banking on more with this mobile, combat-focused outing.

Though described as a “new and separate experience within the Dragon Age world,” Valadares also established, in offering what few teases he could, that further plans are in store for Heroes of Dragon Age beyond what’s been confirmed; its induction into said world may well give rise to some characteristic yet still ambitious directions in gameplay.

“We aren’t talking too much about the story yet,” Valadares said, “but I can say it will include elements from the entire Dragon Age franchise, including games and books.” Reason being that regardless of its disposition and model as a free-to-play RPG, its broader origins make it fertile ground for divergent explorations, as Valadares relates: ”We see a great opportunity with Heroes of Dragon Age to tell ongoing stories with new and familiar aspects of the Dragon Age franchise. Players can look forward to some great content at launch and beyond.”

Wednesday - May 08, 2013

Gaming-Enthusiast - The Force Is Strong With EA

by Couchpotato, 00:28

Well with the news that EA has exclusive rights to all StarWars games, we have a new editioral article from Gaming-Enthusiast defending EA.

After EA acquired the rights for the Star Wars franchise last night I’ve seen a lot of negative feedback from ‘non-EA’ supporters who don’t realise the studios that EA actually own. I can be somewhat cynical when it comes to EA, but I can’t help to be excited by them taking the rights from Disney to produce Star Wars titles for core gamers in the future.

It seems that gamers have seen the dreaded EA label, and forgot about the studios that EA own. The likes of Bioware, DICE, Criterion, and Visceral Games. As a massive fan of Star Wars, and a gamer, I can’t help but get excited for the possibilities to come from the Star Wars gaming rights being in EA’s hands.

I was surprised to find that not many people knew that The Knights of the Old Republic series is already being made under EA, by Mass Effect developers Bioware since 2003. Surely Battlefront being in the hands of DICE and being developed on their Frostbite engine, can only prove to be a positive thing, right?

There are possibilities for EA to take the Star Wars gaming franchise forward, Need for Speed developer Criterion taking the handles of a pod racing title, maybe even another Rogue Squadron game developed with Most Wanted’s Chameleon engine? Dante’s Inferno developer, Visceral Games to unleash the force in the form of a Jedi hacks and slash title. – These are just a few ideas I’ve thrown together, no doubt EA have already started planning their strategy with they’re studios.

EA have a bit reputation with gamers, they can’t afford to make the same mistakes with unfinished (seemingly untested) Star Wars titles being released. Star Wars is a very sensitive subject, and EA could suffer if they don’t get things just right.

As you can see I’m excited by EA taking the reins since Disney closed down Lucas Arts – who haven’t exactly produced the greatest of Star Wars titles in recent the years, in my eyes. Hell! Look at that god awful Kinect game. Hopefully, EA will bring a fresh new approach to some titles, while revitalising some previous titles that have falling off the track, as well as bringing back some titles – like Rogue Squadron – back to the fans.

I’ve thought of other developers that could possibly take over, Ubisoft, Activision, etc. In my opinion EA are the perfect choice with the developers they have in their portfolio. So I ask you, with their assets, are EA really that bad for our beloved Star Wars?

Monday - May 06, 2013

EA - Exclusive Deal to Develop 'Core' Star Wars Video Games

by Myrthos, 23:29

Gamasutra reports that EA has signed an agreement to develop and publish Star Wars games. This could mean....something.

The publisher announced today it has landed an exclusive multi-year agreement to develop and publish games based on Lucasfilms' Star Wars universe.

EA said the it will create and publish Star Wars games for a "core gaming audience" across multiple (undisclosed) platforms and genres. Disney, which has its own internal stable of game developers -- and owns the Star Wars property -- will retain rights to publish certain games on mobile, social, tablet and online.

The EA studios creating those "core" Star Wars games are Battlefield developer DICE, Dead Space developer Visceral Games and BioWare, which has plenty of spacefaring experience with Mass Effect, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

All of the games will be powered by DICE's high-powered Frostbite 3 engine, the same engine that powers Battlefield 3.

Monday - March 18, 2013

EA - John Riccitiello Steps Down as CEO

by Aries100, 23:56

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?

Source: RPG Codex

Wednesday - July 04, 2012

EA - "Going to be 100% digital"

by Dhruin, 01:39

CountChocular points out comments from EA's Labels president Frank Gibeau saying the company is heading for a "100% digital" future and calling NPD's retail data "irrelevant". The comments aren't quite as provocative as the sensational headlines initially suggest, though obviously they set the tone for EA's strategic direction:

Electronic Arts is one of the publishers in this industry that is at the forefront of the digital transition. The company recently had its first year of digital revenues over one billion dollars, and now EA is expecting that number to jump closer to $2 billion (guidance of $1.7 billion in digital revenues this year). For EA Labels boss Frank Gibeau, the business is clearly at a tipping point. He told GamesIndustry International recently that EA clearly will be 100 percent digital in the near future.

We asked Gibeau point blank when the company will have most, if not all, revenues coming from digital products. It's not as far off as one might think.

"It's in the near future. It's coming. We have a clear line of sight on it and we're excited about it. Retail is a great channel for us. We have great relationships with our partners there. At the same time, the ultimate relationship is the connection that we have with the gamer. If the gamer wants to get the game through a digital download and that's the best way for them to get it, that's what we're going to do. It has a lot of enhancements for our business. It allows us to keep more that we make. It allows us to do some really interesting things from a service level standpoint; we can be a lot more personalized with what we're doing," Gibeau enthused. 

Saturday - February 04, 2012

EA - 9.3 Million Registered Origin Users

by Myrthos, 17:09

EA reports that in their 3rd fiscal quarter (which is the forurth quarter of 2011) they had 9.3 million registered users for Origin and 1.7 million susbscribers for TOR. The report contains a lot of other information, so if you are into that check it out here.

Thanks Countchocula

Friday - December 02, 2011

EA - Goes RPG Social

by Skavenhorde, 16:01

According to Gamespot EA has aquired KlickNation. KlickNation is a social role-playing game developer.

Now dear readers you might be saying to yourself, "But Skavenhorde, why do we care what EA buys?" This might be a reason to care:

Speaking to the acquisition, BioWare head Ray Muzyka said, "KlickNation's expertise in building innovative and compelling RPGs for social platforms makes them a seamless tuck-in with the BioWare team at EA. We share the same creative values. The new BioWare Social unit will bring BioWare and EA franchises to the growing audience of core gamers who are looking for high-quality, rich gameplay experiences on social platforms."

Thanks, Korplem for the posting a thread about this in the forums.

Saturday - September 03, 2011

Garriott: "open" to working on a new Ultima @ Eurogamer

by Dhruin, 23:53

Frozen Fireball sends in these comments from Richard Garriott at Eurogamer, saying he would be "open" to working on a new Ultima with EA and had held discussions but they didn't "seem to be particularly interested":

"I hope that Ultima does survive forever, yet I also, of course, have my own very particular ideas for what Ultima can and should become over time and so we'll see if they do things quite the way I would do them... since I'm not there at the moment," he said.

When asked whether he'd consider working with EA on a possible game, he revealed that talks had in fact already taken place but so far proved fruitless.

"We would be open to that. In fact, we've had some discussions at what I'll call very high levels, but the individuals who are currently shepherding the property don't seem to be particularly interested in that, so we'll see," explained Garriott.

Tuesday - June 14, 2011

EA - Interview with Frank Gibeau EA Games Label President @ Guardian.co.uk

by Aries100, 20:04

The Guardian did a two part interview with Frank Gibeau, the president of EA Games Label.
In the first part he talks about the rivalry with Activision, how the industry might evolve, and the support for the Wii U and much more. In the second part he talks about his views on games as a transmedia experience, where original games fit in, and how story has and will become important and a lot more.

It's a fairly lengthy two part interview so here are some highlights - first one is about social connectivity:

Social connectivity has become a key element of EA games over the last year with the Autolog and now Battlelog features. Where do you see this going for EA?

It's a primary design pillar for us. Social mechanics and social features drive gamer engagement – you stick with the game longer, you play with friends, it gives us the opportunity to put out more downloadable packs, different features and keep you engaged longer.

The next one is about the Wii U:

EA has very publicly stepped in with support for Wii U; Riccitiello was onstage at Nintendo's press conference. How will this system fit in to EA's release strategy?

From our perspective, it's a lot easier for us to build experiences on the Wii U that are closer to what our DNA is all about, that also take advantage of what Nintendo has done with the controller. It's very different than the Wii which was standard def, very different GUI, very young, family-based audience – it was contrary to what we typically do. The Wii U is an important part of our framework, but we're platform-agnostic, we will support all platforms that make sense to us.

The third one is about how original games fit in:

Amid all this talk of intellectual property, where do original games fit in? Can they still remain a key element of your strategy?

Look, this is an entertainment business, sequels have to start some place.......What you'll see from EA is a lot more IP starting with mobile games, social games or even on Xbox Live and PSN, and these may evolve into larger console games. But we will do large console new IPs, but probably not as many as we have done in the last two years.

And the final highlight is about how stories in games has become more important:

One thing Medal of Honor did achieve was a more mature and emotionally resonant story. Do you think that element is going to become more important?

LA Noire was a really good example – it's story-driven, it's about character. The Mass Effect 3 demo playing downstairs (in which a small boy is killed by Reaper fire while aboard an escape craft) has stuck with a lot of people – it's much better than a soldier at the top of a mound of dead aliens, waving a flag. Games are an artform and they are evolving in terms of the types of experiences they offer and the stories that they tell ...

If this interview is anything to go by, it might mean that RPG games will now first appear on Xbox Live or PSN. Interestingly, he didn't mention the pc as a gaming platform at all...

Friday - June 03, 2011

UltimaForever - Now Launched

by Dhruin, 01:31

Seems EA has pushed the button on UltimaForever. At this point, the content is surprisingly friendly, offering a general Ultima promotional page and a free download of Ultima 4. Yes, it's been "available" for a long time but it's hard to criticise an official download. We'll see what happens down the track, as more content is promised further along.

Wednesday - June 01, 2011

EA - Ultima Forever Domain Registered

by Dhruin, 23:32

We've posted about some persistent Ultima-related rumours a few times over the past months and Ultima Online Stratics has spotted another piece of the puzzle. Apparently EA  registered ultimaforever.com back in April and the site was briefly live. Head over to view a screenshot, which shows EA and BioWare logos, a "Brief History of Ultima IV" and a banner proclaiming "A celebration of all things Ultima".

Source: GameBanshee

Tuesday - July 27, 2010

Darkspore - BioWare NOT Assisting

by Dhruin, 22:26

Eurogamer has a followup on the news that BioWare was assisting Maxis with DarkSpore.  Turns out BioWare is not associated with the title at all but Maxis did hire writer Malcolm Azania who worked on Mass Effect 2 "at one stage".

In other DarkSpore news, SDDT.com has a video interview with Maxis System Designer Paul Sottosanti from Comic-Con.  Thanks, Omega.

Sunday - July 25, 2010

Darkspore - Comic-Con Preview @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 10:43

GameSpot reports on a Comic-Con panel that previewed DarkSpore.  Apparently BioWare has been assisting Maxis with the Spore-inspired hack'n'slasher.  Here's an early snip:

The basic gameplay is a sci-fi action-RPG, but players will have to focus on acquiring a stable of new creatures, and then implementing squad-based tactics in the way they use them. As with other action-RPGs, boss battles, loot collection, and co-op play will also play a role.

Carrington, whose previous experience at Wizards of the Coast had him designing Magic: The Gathering features, explained how he looked to the collectible card game's color system as a way to balance creature types in Darkspore. He accomplished that by implementing five different genesis types of monsters: Bio, Necro, Plasma, Cyber, and Quantum. Each type has its own color and visual effects so players can tell at a glance what type an enemy creature is.

Wednesday - July 21, 2010

Darkspore - Preview @ IGN

by Dhruin, 22:47

IGN is the first we've seen to preview EA's freshly revealed Darkspore:

The easiest comparison you can make to Darkspore after you see it is Blizzard's Diablo -- a game that's arguably the king of PC action-RPGs. Like Diablo, Darkspore has several classes you can play (essentially a warrior, a mage, and a rogue) and is largely a game that drives players with the promise of greater and greater loot. However, unlike Diablo -- where the loot consisted of things like weapons and armor -- Darkspore awards the players with a series of parts that they can use to evolve their heroes.

Tuesday - July 20, 2010

Darkspore Announced

by Dhruin, 22:26

EA has announced a "science-fiction action role-playing game" called Darkspore.  The game is for PC and consoles and takes story elements from Spore.  It's also described as "online", which nearly made me skip it, but reading further they do specify a single-player campaign.  Here's the PR, courtesy of Blue's:

EA Reveals Darkspore, a New Sci-Fi Action Role-Playing Game in Development from Maxis Studio

EA is scheduled to launch Darkspore in February 2011. Consumers can keep up-to-date on the latest Darkspore developments at www.darkspore.com.

EA REVEALS DARKSPORE, A NEW SCI-FI ACTION ROLE-PLAYING GAME IN DEVELOPMENT FROM MAXIS STUDIO

Darkspore to Introduce Innovative Character Customization, Gameplay Mechanics and Online Play to Genre

REDWOOD CITY, CA – July 20, 2010 – Maxis™, an Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) studio, today announced the next project in its award-winning portfolio of PC games: Darkspore™, an online, science-fiction action role-playing game, is currently in development for a February 2011 launch. Darkspore is rich in action and fiction, and is being written and developed by some of the most talented minds in the video game industry.

“Darkspore is inspired in part by the award-winning creature editor tech of Spore, but also in large part from the team’s own passion for gaming and prior experience,” said Lucy Bradshaw, General Manager of Maxis Studio. "The team has combined these inspirations to produce a unique take on the action RPG genre.”

Darkspore will feature dynamic, fast-paced action as players battle across alien worlds to save the galaxy from the mutated forces of Darkspore in a four-player co-operative and full single-player campaign, as well as intense multiplayer battles. In order to defeat the malicious Darkspore, players will need to collect an arsenal of living weapons - genetic heroes with different combat abilities - and upgrade them with tens of thousands of collectible body parts and armor.

Darkspore will feature three unique classes of five different genetic hero types, with a limitless number of upgrades and customizations available through the parts players collect on each planet level. As players progress, Darkspore builds in intensity, with new planets and enemy forces requiring players to strategically select the right squad and ability combinations to succeed in their missions.

Screens and a trailer at Shacknews.

Source: Blues News

Tuesday - April 20, 2010

EA - Lord of Ultima Released

by Dhruin, 22:06

We've mentioned this once before but this will probably be the last...EA's online city-builder Ultima-flavoured cash-in has been released.  It's completely un-RPG related but the use of Ultima and Phenomic (Spellforce) as the developer gets our attention long enough for the release announcement:

EA'S PHENOMIC INTRODUCES STRATEGY GAME 'LORD OF ULTIMA'
Free-To-Play Web-Based Game Transports Players to Legendary Ultima Universe

Guildford, UK – April 20, 2010 – Phenomic™, an Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) studio, announced today Lord of Ultima™, a new browser-based online strategy game is available worldwide for free* starting today. Lord of Ultima immerses players in a brand-new, deeply-rich strategy game set within the Ultima universe. The game introduces innovative social features, such as advanced trading, alliance creation, online chat and community forums, which make for an endlessly entertaining experience.

“Lord of Ultima was designed to ensure that everyone, from strategy newcomers to diehard fans, can make it to the top of the leader board,” said Volker Wertich, Creative Director at Phenomic. "Phenomic is committed to building dynamic communities that delight players as they interact with the game, each other and the legendary world of Ultima.”

To become the Lord of Ultima, players will master the arts of diplomacy and trade, as well as the military activities of spying, plundering, and the takeover of enemy cities. Set in the new world of Caledonia, players start the game as eager conquerors in the early stages of raising an empire, and then move from developing a humble village and evolving it into a prosperous, highly customized capital. Players can flourish as peaceful merchants by trading resources over land or sea and using diplomacy. They can also become feared conquerors, by creating mighty armies of knights and mages to crush enemies.

Lord of Ultima is a free-to-play MTX browser-based game. No download or installation is needed and players do not need to register to play. Lord of Ultima is available in English and German and is playable now by visiting www.lordofultima.com.

Wednesday - January 27, 2010

EA - Lord of Ultima

by Dhruin, 10:16

Bedwyr points to a new Ultima product, titled Lord of Ultima.  What is it?  Why, a browser-based multiplayer city-builder, of course!

Lord of Ultima is an online strategy game where you build your own unique city and play with thousands of other players. Join now and rule a mighty empire which you can access from wherever and whenever you want.

All you need to enter is a normal web browser...

The developer is Phenomic, by the way, the developer of Spellforce.

Wednesday - December 09, 2009

EA - Riccitiello, CEO, sees DLC as a way to combat piracy

by Aries100, 19:11

Kotaku spoke to Jon Riccitiello, CEO of EA about how EA's future might look. Apparently, he spoke about DLC as a way to generate income from both the second hand market as well as from people who don't pay for their games:

Some of the people buying this DLC are not people who bought the game in a new shrink-wrapped box. That could be seen as a dark cloud, a mass of gamers who play a game without contributing a penny to EA. But around that cloud Riccitiello identified a silver lining: "There's a sizable pirate market and a sizable second sale market and we want to try to generate revenue in that marketplace," he said, pointing to DLC as a way to do it.

Do you agree with Riccitiello's statement? Is DLC a good way to get people to pay for games? 

Wednesday - December 02, 2009

EA - Future Lies in Digital Games

by Aries100, 17:30

As the closing of 2009 continues, the video game industry is trying to look into 2010 and beyond. 

At Reuter's Global Media Summit,  EA's CEO John Riccitiello talks about the future of EA
and how digital games may become more important than boxed games in the future:

Riccitiello said there will always be a market for packaged games like its "Madden NFL" franchise, but sees digital games growing to account for half the industry in 2010 from 40 percent now.  "It's our goal for that business to be as important as, and over time maybe more important than, our packaged goods business," he said.

He also commented on the recent layoffs at EA:

"We thought of it as an offensive, positive step towards the evolution of our business."

Do you think EA's John Riccitiello is correct? Will digital game become the standard?

Source: Blues News

Tuesday - November 17, 2009

EA - Pandemic Closed, Van Caneghem Joins

by Dhruin, 21:17

There is no direct connection with RPGs here but industry watchers will be interested to know that EA will close Pandemic Studios, with the founders already let go last week.  Our interest comes, of course, because BioWare and Pandemic "merged" some time back after venture capital group Elevation Partners purchased them both to form a "super studio".  Later, EA bought the parent company, VG Holdings, thus acquiring both studios.

While there is absolutely no indication of any effect on BioWare, critics will no doubt observe EA's long history of buying, then closing studios.

Gamasutra has this news, with excerpts from an internal EA memo.  As a side note, Jon Van Carneghem of Might & Magic fame has joined to manage the Command and Conquer RTs brand.

Thanks to Lucky Day for a similar submission.

Wednesday - July 22, 2009

EA - Joins with NetDragon to Develop New Ultima Online

by Myrthos, 22:19

Warcry has some news about EA and the China based company NetDragon joining forces to develop the new Ultima Online.

HONG KONG, July 22 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ -- Electronic Arts Inc. and NetDragon Websoft Inc., a leading game developer and operator in China, today announced a licensing agreement for the development of a new massively multi-player online role playing game (MMORPG) based on "Ultima Online" from Electronic Arts. As part of the agreement, NetDragon will develop the new Ultima Online in collaboration with EA's Mythic Entertainment, and have the exclusive operating license for China, Hong Kong, Macau and India.


"We are delighted to further our relationship with EA through the development of Ultima Online(TM)," said Mr. Liu Dejian, Chairman and Executive Director of NetDragon. "Capitalizing on our ability to create a strong online gaming experience, we are confident that Ultima Online(TM) will be a success in China and will also achieve remarkable results in the other markets where we'll operate the game."

Jon Niermann, President of EA Asia said, "Ultima Online(TM) is a well known EA property and we're delighted to bring the game to fans in China, Hong Kong, Macau and India. NetDragon is a proven partner and we're confident in their expertise to build and operate a great gaming experience for players".

Rob Denton, General Manager and Vice President of Mythic Entertainment added, "We're thrilled to be able to work with NetDragon to bring the pioneering Ultima Online to a new audience in these exciting markets."

Wednesday - June 24, 2009

EA - Mythic and Bioware Merged

by Myrthos, 22:47

EA has restructured their RPG and MMO games development studios to form a new, yet unnamed, RPG/MMO studio consisting of Mythic and Bioware. The good Bioware doctor Ray Muzyka will be the head of this new studio, with Greg Zeschuk becoming Group Creative Officer (whatever that means). In the chain of command Rob Denton will be General Manager of the Mythic part and the Bioware part will remain to report to Ray Muzyka.

As Rob Denton has stepped up as General Manager, Mark Jacobs becomes the former General Manager of Mythic and has left EA yesterday. Mark Jacobs was also the Lead Designer on Warhammer Online and co-founder of Mythic.
The official gospel is that Mark Jacobs and EA have "mutually agreed to separate".

Thanks Steve for the lead.

Thursday - March 26, 2009

EA - Softening Stance on DRM?

by Dhruin, 22:15

This one has a bit of a tenuous link to our purview but should be interesting to many readers.  MTV Multiplayer reports EA has announced Sims 3 will only use a serial number for protection.  The head of EA's Sims and Casual division Rod Humble wrote this in his blog:

The game will have disc-based copy protection – there is a Serial Code just like The Sims 2. To play the game there will not be any online authentication needed.

We feel like this is a good, time-proven solution that makes it easy for you to play the game without DRM methods that feel overly invasive or leave you concerned about authorization server access in the distant future.

As one of their flagship products, hopefully this approach will filter down.

Monday - July 28, 2008

EA - John Riccitielo Interview @ Mercury News

by Magerette, 17:04

California news site Mercury News does a Q & A session with EA's CEO John Riccitiello mostly on the present console goals of the company but also on his role and accomplishments there :

Q You've been in place for more than a year now, during which you've made a number of splashy moves. How would you assess the state of EA and where you go from here?

A Everything that I've been doing has been designed with (this) in mind: I want EA to be the best place for creative guys in our industry to work, and I want us to have the highest quality, most innovative games. A lot of people in our industry get stuck thinking that their job is to manage a lot of business process, and somehow the games happen down in the trenches. I'm trying to actually get it shifted, so people understand that the most important thing in our company is where the programming, the art direction, the game design and production takes place. Ultimately, if we do that, we'll make the best games. If we make the best games, they'll sell really well, and we'll be really profitable.

Our game quality and level of innovation is up sharply when you look at recently released titles and then you look at what's on the road map. We've turned the corner on that issue, and I'm very proud of that.

 

Source: Strategy Informer

Thursday - March 13, 2008

EA - Take Two Takeover Goes Hostile

by Magerette, 16:41

Voodoo Extreme posts the latest developments in Electronic Art's attempt to acquire publisher/developer TakeTwo Interactive:

Electronic Arts Inc. (“EA”) today announced that a wholly owned subsidiary of EA commenced a tender offer for all of the currently outstanding shares of common stock of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (“Take-Two”) for $26.00 per share in cash.

The offer is valued at approximately $2 billion and represents a 64% premium over Take-Two’s closing stock price on February 15, the last trading day before EA sent its revised proposal to Take-Two.

EA Chief Executive Officer John Riccitiello: “This is a great opportunity for Take-Two shareholders. We believe Take-Two investors will see our tender offer as the best way to maximize the value of their investment in Take-Two. This tender offer provides a clear process to complete the proposed transaction. For EA shareholders, the combination would add additional intellectual properties to our already strong portfolio and welcome Take-Two’s talented creative teams to the great development organization we’ve built at EA.”

TakeTwo previously rejected this bid as too low, and the decision now goes to the shareholders. VE gives the definition of tender bid here:

A tender offer is a corporate finance term denoting a type of takeover bid. The tender offer is a public, open offer (usually announced in a newspaper advertisement) by an acquirer to all stockholders of a publicly traded corporation to tender their stock for sale at a specified price during a specified time, subject to the tendering of a minimum and maximum number of shares. Tender offers are made directly to shareholders and are commonly used to takeover a target company when that company's board of directors does not approve the acquisition.

 

Sunday - February 24, 2008

EA - Proposes Take Two Acquisition Bid

by Magerette, 23:23

In the latest episode of corporate game company takeovers, Electronic Arts has offered approximately 2 Billion USD, or $26. per share for Take Two Interactive Software in a proposal last week to add the software company to its ranks.

ShackNews gives a summary:

 Publishing giant Electronic Arts last Tuesday proposed an acquisition of fellow publisher Take-Two at a price of $26 per share, or approximately $2 billion total.

Electronic Arts claims the proposal is more than fair, quoting the $26 share price as a 64 percent increase over Take-Two's recent stock value...

The Take-Two umbrella includes the publishing labels 2K Sports, 2K Games, and Rockstar Games. Together the labels encompass such hit properties as Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto, BioShock 2K Boston's Bioshock, and Firaxis' Sid Meier's Civilization.

Thanks to zyklop for the heads up in the forums. 

Wednesday - February 06, 2008

EA - Turning Dreams into Reality @ GamesIndustry.biz

by Magerette, 18:54

GamesIndustry.biz  has posted an interview called Turning Dreams into Reality with EA's senior VP and chief visual and technical officer, Glenn Entis.

About the role of graphics and how it impacts gameplay in video games:

Do you think that more realistic characters automatically yield a better overall experience though?

Not necessarily. I can think of games situations where that's really what's called for, so there are certain cases where it will help, but I have a really hard time believing that that is somehow the culmination of our art.

If you look at just about any other form of art it's not the striving towards seeing the same thing we see every day, certainly not in painting, not in music, not in a lot of areas - so no, in itself it won't guarantee a better experience, and in some cases I think it can yield a less satisfying experience.

What about the problem of expectation? Games and consoles are sold on their visuals, so do you think there's an undue focus in that respect, does it create a problem particularly with the widening of the gaming audience?

Well, it does - but remember - you're talking to a graphics guy, and I always try to differentiate. I love the graphics, I always respond to the graphics - but at the same time, even as someone who grew up in graphics and had my original training as a digital artist, I still recognise that a great game with mediocre graphics is going to be a more satisfying experience than a mediocre game with great graphics.

Gameplay über alles. That's the reason everything else is there, so in that context I think I agree - where visuals take on a disproportionate influence is that they're the first impression. You can see a game before you can touch it.

And ultimately, if touching is more important than seeing, but the only way if you're going to touch it is if the look draws you in, it means that those graphics will take on a disproportionate element.

Do you think there's an element of truth in claims that high-end visuals can be a bit daunting to more casual gamers, who might in turn identify with more basic but friendly graphics?

I've definitely seen it, and there are a lot of different ways to think about it, but one thing is clear - when you have more complex graphics, higher density graphics, higher resolution graphics, the simple fact is that you're just giving the user more information to deal with...


What simple graphics do of course is make the implied interface with those graphics clearer, because there's less information, there are fewer things you can imagine you might be controlling or interacting with, and so as a result by definition it's friendlier...

I think one of the challenges for our industry is that if you really tease it out of people you'll find that they somehow co-mingle the idea of great art direction with the idea of photorealism or with extremely high-end graphics. But of course that's not the case at all - you can have great art direction with very simple graphics.

About film-to-game-ports: 

Do you think more dedicated gamers get a bit snobbish when it comes to games with a film license?

I think the short answer is yes, but the longer answer is that it kind of makes sense - I mean, if you're a hardcore gamer the only thing that's going to count is the game experience, and it's not just the quality of the game experience but it's going to be the depth of execution, you're going to look for a certain amount of innovation - nuances and qualities that aren't as important to somebody who's not such a strong game player.

Everybody wants a good game - you can't give bad controls or sloppy execution or poor feedback to any gamer, whether hardcore or novice, and have them enjoy it - but a novice gamer doesn't necessarily look for all the richness of modes and depth of gameplay..

Source: Bluesnews

Tuesday - December 11, 2007

EA - Euro Devs More Creative

by Dhruin, 11:57

Really, this is more amusing than anything else.  An EA staffer has told GamesIndustry.biz that European developers are more creative than than their US counterparts, who are too focused on - wait for it - money:

EA Partners' Nick Button-Brown has told GamesIndustry.biz that he believes European developers are more creative than US studios, as North American teams are focused on making money rather than taking chances.

Irony. 

Source: GameBanshee

Sunday - October 21, 2007

EA - Top Dollar--More Commentary on the Bioware/Pandemic Acquisition

by Magerette, 17:27

Rob Fahey at games industry.biz  has a commentary and digest up at the site on the recent Bioware/Pandemic acquistion by Electronic Arts. This isn't new information, but it does offer a clear summary of the event for those wanting a quick analysis. If you haven't had your fill on the deal yet, it's an easy read of the major points:

 

 On the face of it, EA is a perfect match with VG Holdings; the publisher's output is severely lacking in some of the areas that Bioware and Pandemic do best. Role-playing titles and action titles aren't strong genres for EA, even with Sweden's DICE (creators of the Battlefield series) on board. More importantly, EA still looks anaemic in the crucial field of self-owned IP, with much of the publisher's output still relying on franchises from the worlds of movies or sport...

...Not everyone is entirely happy to see EA picking up Bioware and Pandemic, though. The stock market's roar of approval has been matched by a cry of anguish from games fans (and even, privately, some developers), who are concerned about what this means for the output of the vastly popular studios.

They may have a point. Electronic Arts' history with the studios it acquires is not so much chequered, as downright bleak. From ancient industry history like Bullfrog through to Westwood, Maxis and even Criterion, EA has consistently demonstrated a propensity to assimilate rather than incubate, absorbing studios into its own structure and rapidly crushing the unique identity which, arguably, made them valuable in the first place.

Wednesday - October 17, 2007

EA - BioWare/Pandemic Q&A @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 00:18

Book-ending GameSpot's recent interview with the BioWare doctors is a similar interview with Pandemic's Josh Resnick and Greg Borrud.  The rhetoric is the same and here is a quote:

GB: We've been building Pandemic for nine years now, and I think in our minds, we're only halfway to where we want to be as a developer. Continuing to build Pandemic is what gets us up in the morning. And the key to this transaction is that we'll be able to keep doing that.

JR: One final thought on that. Some of our favorite developers, such as Blizzard and Rockstar, those guys have been able to do incredible work and continue to build their brands and the excitement people have about their products while inside large organizations. So, we're happy to follow in those footsteps.

Sunday - February 18, 2007

EA - A History @ Gamasutra

by Dhruin, 00:45

A seven-page history of EA titled We See Farther is up at Gamasutra.  While it doesn't really linger on issues such as the dissolution of Origin, it does touch on all the main points of EA's lengthy history.  Here's a bit from the beginning:

Flush with cash from Apple’s IPO, Hawkins knew that it was time for him to make his move. "Right on schedule, I resigned from Apple in January, 1982, but they convinced me to stay a bit longer. I finally left for good in April and on my own I incorporated EA on May 28, 1982. I personally funded it for the next six months. Initially, I worked by myself out of my home, and then in August began using an office at Sequoia Capital, where I also began hiring the early employees." San Mateo, California would become their permanent headquarters for many years until a 1998 move to nearby Redwood City.

Thursday - August 10, 2006

EA developing System Shock 3 rumours @ Joystiq

by Dhruin, 23:12
Joystiq is pointing out an article from PC Gamer UK that claims EA's Redmond Shores studio (The Godfather) is working on System Shock 3:
On one shore, PC Gamer magazine interviewed Irrational Games' Ken Levine who said, "One of the reasons I wasn't interested [in System Shock 3] is EA just didn't give a sh-t about that game." O RLY? Well, as part of their newfound desire to not make us hate them so much, Electronic Arts is returning to the critically (if not financially) successful franchise without Irrational (who're busy working on System Shock's spiritual successor Bioshock for their new corporate overlords at Take 2).

EA Online: Chip Lange Interview @ Warhammer Alliance

by Dhruin, 00:51
EA Online VP Chip Lange speaks to Warhammer Alliance on EA's purchase of Mythic and related issues:
Motor City Online, Earth and Beyond, Ultima X, UO2. By my count EA has published more failed MMOs than any one publisher in existence. How did EA approaching this deal differently than its past ventures? Why should gamers believe something is different about this deal?

Chip: We feel differently. UO is the longest running MMO in gaming history and still supports an active user base who love the game as well as the new content we're pouring into the UO universe. We've had some other projects which have not lasted as long in the space as UO, but the learnings in game design which have come from those projects make EA a better partner in this space. We look to combine this learning with Mythic's design excellence and create the most dynamic and exciting games in the genre for years to come.

Wednesday - June 28, 2006

Mark Jacobs Interview @ FiringSquad

by Dhruin, 22:20
Mark Jacobs has spoken to FiringSquad about EA's purchase of Mythic. Here's the opening question:
FiringSquad: First, how and why did the talks begin between EA and Mythic on purchasing Mythic Entertainment?

Mark Jacobs: As to the how, well, we've had a relationship with EA for many years, dating back to the early days of online gaming. So, we both had each other's numbers in our contact list. :) As to why, it was nothing more complicated than both parties knowing that the other had a lot to bring to the table. EA has the well-earned position of being the #1 interactive entertainment company in the world and all the benefits that go along with that. Mythic has equally well-earned position of being one of the most successful independent developers of MMORPGs in the world. Both EA and Mythic saw the advantages of being part of the same team and after that it was simply a matter of figuring out all the details on how to make that happen.

Wednesday - June 21, 2006

EA buys Mythic

by Dhruin, 00:42
GameSpot has news that EA has purchased Mythic, developers of DAoC and the upcoming Warhammer. Here's part of GameSpot's newsbit on EA Mythic:
Warhammer Online maker bought and will be redubbed EA Mythic and will focus on MMORPGs, Jacobs and Denton to remain on board.

Ever since the massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft was released in fall 2004, Electronic Arts has looked on with envy as rival Vivendi has raked in millions. In March, the French media conglomerate's game division--which lost 203 million euros ($241 million) in 2004--reported a whopping 244 million euro ($289.9 million) one-year jump in earnings for the calendar year 2005.

The jump in revenue was thanks largely to WOW, which is developed and published by Vivendi subsidiary Blizzard Entertainment. The game now has over 6.5 million subscribers worldwide, filling the company's coffers with a hefty regular revenue of gold.

Not one to let an unexploited market pass it by, Electronic Arts today announced that it has entered an agreement to acquire the Virginia-based development studio Mythic Entertainment. The new studio will be renamed EA Mythic, and it will focus on producing MMORPGs. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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