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56. Re: Dead Space 4 Cancelled? Mar 5, 2013, 15:40 Beamer
Verno wrote on Mar 5, 2013, 15:00:
The real problem is that EAs internal infrastructure only supports megahits now, they halfassed EA Partners and killed it quickly when shareholders didn't like the small margins they were seeing. Every EA game needs to move 5-6 million units now or else. That combined with the rising cost of development (there were like what, 10000 games made for the PS2 and less than 1000 for the PS3?) means we're going to be seeing a lot of Battlefield in the future and less interesting stuff like Dead Space.

EA Partners is still alive and well. In fact, there was just an article about it last week (or the week before) in which some company was discussing why they signed up with EA Partners despite disliking EA.

EA, as a whole, is trying pretty hard to right their ship. They're losing money (despite opinion here.) Their stock is tanking. Fast Company just named Activision one of the most innovative companies of 2013, while EA was named the most hated by whomever did that poll (not a games-industry poll.)

I think a lot of their old, horrible habits are dead. That word hasn't gotten out, because they were there so long, but I'm pretty certain they're dead.
Which doesn't mean they haven't been replaced with new, horrible habits.

But yeah, every EA game needs to move 3-5 million units. And I can tell you that terrifies them (it does every publisher) and that they're desperately trying to find a way to change that (as is every publisher.) Which is why things will be interesting in 2014. Will the new consoles save everyone? Ehhh, I think everyone is skeptical of that. Will the new consoles raise development costs? Yup. So what's the move? Do you go with smaller, less risky games? The publishers can't easily do that because putting your eggs into a low-risk, low-reward basket is worse than putting them into a high-risk, high-reward basket (and EA, due to its stock price, certainly has a very finite number of eggs.) They may be able to do some reorganization to that thinking, but it can't be immediate. So then do they play with price? Do they go higher, meaning they need to sell fewer games but are also guaranteed to sell fewer games? Do they go lower, meaning they need to sell more games but it's easier to sell more games (B&M is the biggest roadblock to this idea. Clearly not the only roadblock, but the hardest to move.)

Expect the publishers to be very creative in 2014. Which, sadly, won't necessarily mean more creative products.
Music for the discerning:
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