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John Riccitiello Leaving EA

John Riccitiello is stepping down from his post as EA CEO effective March 30th, reports Polygon, saying he will be replaced on an interim day-to-day basis by Riccitiello's predecessor Larry Probst as they hunt for a permanent replacement. They have a copy of his resignation letter to the board, which suggests by its tone was requested. "This is a tough decision, but it all comes down to accountability," Riccitiello resignation letter reads. "The progress EA has made on transitioning to digital games and services is something I'm extremely proud of. However, it currently looks like we will come in at the low end of, or slightly below, the financial guidance we issued in January, and we have fallen short of the internal operating plan we set one year ago. EA's shareholders and employees expect better and I am accountable for the miss."

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69. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 19, 2013, 16:01 Beamer
 
Verno wrote on Mar 19, 2013, 15:58:
netnerd85 wrote on Mar 19, 2013, 09:36:
Are you kidding? Have you seen gamers comments and game reviews? If you don't up the ante, you get no sales and a very bad review.

I would ask you the same question. The companies largely ignore user comments and buy up a good portion of their reviews with advertising dollars anyway. Have you seen what development costs have become? It's not sustainable at its current rate of growth, there is no math to support it other than titles moving unrealistic numbers on each platform. That's why the industry is trying to wring every last penny out of DLC and etc.


I don't think that a good portion of reviews are bought (or, rather, I don't think they're outwardly purchased. Whether they're done simply by adverting on a site and having a good relationship is another story, and one that will never, ever change), but yeah, otherwise I agree. Development costs aren't sustainable. DLC is a way to remedy this.

I still think cheaper pricing may be another way, but it isn't like I've even done a back of the envelope model. Just a hypothesis I'd love some data to crunch through.
 
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68. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 19, 2013, 15:58 Verno
 
netnerd85 wrote on Mar 19, 2013, 09:36:
Are you kidding? Have you seen gamers comments and game reviews? If you don't up the ante, you get no sales and a very bad review.

I would ask you the same question. The companies largely ignore user comments and buy up a good portion of their reviews with advertising dollars anyway. Have you seen what development costs have become? It's not sustainable at its current rate of growth, there is no math to support it other than titles moving unrealistic numbers on each platform. That's why the industry is trying to wring every last penny out of DLC and etc.

 
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67. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 19, 2013, 14:40 avianflu
 
i dont know guys -- the timing of his firing suggests at least some correlation.

More amusing to me is that the previous EA CEO will take over for the ousted CEO. That's not typical.
 
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66. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 19, 2013, 09:36 netnerd85
 
Verno wrote on Mar 19, 2013, 08:46:
EA really needs to change their overall structure, they can't really continue the way they've been going, continually upping the ante with every release.
Are you kidding? Have you seen gamers comments and game reviews? If you don't up the ante, you get no sales and a very bad review.
 
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65. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 19, 2013, 08:46 Verno
 
Dev wrote on Mar 19, 2013, 04:37:
Also, its unlikely that simcity sold poorly. Its been selling too well (apparently no one bothered to check pre-order numbers before counting servers) that caused much of their problems. On bluesnews alone, you have several people who bought it, despite everything known beforehand. Now think about clueless people who hear the name "simcity" and run out to buy it on that alone.

1.1 million sales is nothing to sneeze at but for a company like EA who spends more than that on marketing alone it's not really a big success either. I doubt SimCity will meet expectations if it experiences the usual post-release drop off. We'll start to see how aggressive their DLC strategy is if it doesn't push past 3 mil in the next month. Bioshock Infinite is coming out soon and will start stealing headlines and ad space as well. EA has BF4 coming up too though which many here won't care about but it will generate a lot of interest online.

EA really needs to change their overall structure, they can't really continue the way they've been going, continually upping the ante with every release.
 
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64. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 19, 2013, 07:48 InBlack
 
Kajetan wrote on Mar 19, 2013, 07:32:
Dev wrote on Mar 19, 2013, 04:37:
Yeah, I highly doubt simcity had anything to do with this. Simcity only just came out, his leaving has likely been in the works for a while.
Remember what Pachter has said a few months ago? That Riccitiello feared to be fired by the shareholders and he couldnt understand why the EA stock stays in the cellar, because in his opinion he did everything right?


Oh my. Please dont quote or even paraphrase Pachter, as even a blind chicken will manage to peck a few grains of corn every now and again through sheer luck alone....
 
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63. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 19, 2013, 07:32 Kajetan
 
Dev wrote on Mar 19, 2013, 04:37:
Yeah, I highly doubt simcity had anything to do with this. Simcity only just came out, his leaving has likely been in the works for a while.
Remember what Pachter has said a few months ago? That Riccitiello feared to be fired by the shareholders and he couldnt understand why the EA stock stays in the cellar, because in his opinion he did everything right?


Also, its unlikely that simcity sold poorly. Its been selling too well (apparently no one bothered to check pre-order numbers before counting servers) that caused much of their problems. On bluesnews alone, you have several people who bought it, despite everything known beforehand. Now think about clueless people who hear the name "simcity" and run out to buy it on that alone.
Just wait. Capcom has been shouting all over the world how impressive the sales of RE6 were. A few months later they had to admit that RE6 sales were dissapointing because they dropped fast after the first weeks.
 
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62. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 19, 2013, 04:43 Dev
 
Silicon Avatar wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 20:01:
EA actually has a lot of good properties that they are sitting on. I wish they would get an awesome CEO and turn things around.
Redmask wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 20:12:
Why can't a company make money by giving it what its consumers want? Gaming companies thrived doing this for decades before publishers decided to turn themselves into conglomerates. They didn't have to make every game sell like Call of Duty or have a marketing campaign that involved the Superbowl.
Why? Because the IP they are sitting on isn't CoD or BF.
Why? Because its not as much money as they think they can make. If they think they can make $5 million by doing dungeon lords 2, then they think they can make $500 million by doing DA3, which one do you think they are going to do? Sure they can make money by doing things like we see happening at kickstarter, but to them, thats peanuts. If EA were really going to change, we'd have seen it already. KS success is showing them the amount of money thats out there for things like that, and they DO NOT CARE.
 
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61. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 19, 2013, 04:37 Dev
 
Quboid wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 18:51:
Perhaps it's yet to make it's mark; hopefully when SimCity's sales figures are released they will be well below expectations and the share price will then be hit.
Yeah, I highly doubt simcity had anything to do with this. Simcity only just came out, his leaving has likely been in the works for a while.

Also, its unlikely that simcity sold poorly. Its been selling too well (apparently no one bothered to check pre-order numbers before counting servers) that caused much of their problems. On bluesnews alone, you have several people who bought it, despite everything known beforehand. Now think about clueless people who hear the name "simcity" and run out to buy it on that alone.
 
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60. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 19, 2013, 04:36 InBlack
 
The thing is this, unless they hire someone who decides to change their corporate culture from the ground up AND isnt afraid to stand up the shareholders (maybe with a better contract that is possible) nothing will change at EA.

Maybe someone with a vision who realises that making a brand name entails more than just making a quick buck.

Wishful thinking I know....I doubt there are CEOs with vision left in the corporate world, they simply make too much money and never get enough responsibility....
 
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59. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 23:53 Creston
 
Preside over company becoming one of the most miserable corporations in the US, and watch its stock fall to 18 bucks, and you get FIRED? What's the world coming to??

Bye assclown!

Creston
 
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58. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 23:12 wtf_man
 
Redmask wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 22:39:
He stewarded some worthy projects at EA but he also directed plenty of anti-consumer shenanigans too, I'm not really sure where to land on this.

Actually... I'd rather see EA die (like THQ did)... and sell off it's IP to more consumer friendly publishers.

It may happen... especially when you look at EA's stock chart on Kotaku:
Kotaku Article
 
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57. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 22:39 Redmask
 
He stewarded some worthy projects at EA but he also directed plenty of anti-consumer shenanigans too, I'm not really sure where to land on this.  
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56. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 21:48 Prez
 
I'm glad that he's gone, but his legacy of fucking over gamers and destroying gaming will surely live on at EA.

I love how these corporate idiots are handed huge payouts after they are "fired", all contractually guaranteed. I guess it's too much to ask that corporate America would ever adopt the crazy strategy of NOT rewarding gross incompetence. What other kind of leader can anyone ever expect to get besides the arrogant, incompetent, clueless asshole when there is ZERO price for failure?
 
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55. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 21:36 Cutter
 
So long Bitchyjello! Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out!
 
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54. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 20:54 Beamer
 
Total-Khaos wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 19:07:
Beamer wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 17:09:
Ok, he's getting 2 years salary as severance, plus "benefits." All in all not a huge parachute. He was making something like $5-$7 million per year, approximately, but the severance is just salary, so that's about $750,000 per year.

2 years salary, and $1.7MM, isn't enough to make me angry. I mean, it's not like I'm sitting here feeling extremely sorry for him, or thinking employees fighting tooth-and-nail for an extra half a percent raise should, but this isn't one of those deals where a guy is walking away with something ridiculous, especially relative to what he was earning.

His base salary, according to SEC filings dated 02/21/2007, was $750,000 plus a target bonus percentage of 100% of his annual salary. That means his total income per year, if EA met their targets, would be $1.5 million. That doesn't include stock options, etc.

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/712515/000119312507039826/d8k.htm

Yup, but including stocks and such he made much more. There are articles about how he earned $7 million in 2008. Forbes says he got almost $6 million in 2011. And he seems to have received 129,000 stock shares every September, which currently adds up to over 2.4 million.
 
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53. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 20:36 Julio
 
ASeven wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 18:11:
Unfortunately I have no hope that the next guy to take his seat will change the policy of fucking the customers left and right and center.

Maybe the next guy will be better at using the lube by doing something more than giving out free shovelware customer compensation. Probably not though.
 
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52. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 20:12 Redmask
 
NKD wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 19:56:
But here's the thing: pleasing you and me isn't going to make them anymore money. In fact, if EA did what I want them to do, I can guarantee they'd make a lot less money.

Why can't a company make money by giving it what its consumers want? Gaming companies thrived doing this for decades before publishers decided to turn themselves into conglomerates. They didn't have to make every game sell like Call of Duty or have a marketing campaign that involved the Superbowl. Valve is a company who serves several different market segments well, why can't other companies? Valve is a unique and all that, we're aware but the industry has no problem copying other things and properties.

All of the consolidation in the industry over the past ten years hasn't been a good thing for the overall health, they are chasing unrealistic growth and profit targets in a downed economy. The problem is the unrealistic goals and the bloat that some of these publishers have gained over the years. I do not mind taking a lesser product if it means they will try new things again, stop pandering to the fickle lowest common denominator and if it means people can keep their jobs if a game doesn't sell 3 million units.
 
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51. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 20:01 Silicon Avatar
 
EA actually has a lot of good properties that they are sitting on. I wish they would get an awesome CEO and turn things around.

I'm sure they'll just hire some other uninspired crap-head though.

Oh well. Maybe if they finally go under someone else can buy their IP and make good games.

 
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50. Re: John Riccitiello Leaving EA Mar 18, 2013, 19:58 wtf_man
 
Tumbler wrote on Mar 18, 2013, 17:38:
Meh, I'd be excited but I have a tough time believing that the culture inside this company is going to change.

Agreed.

 
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