EA Lowers Outlook, Plans Cuts

This press release from Electronic Arts warns investors it is lowering its financial guidance for fiscal year 2009 due to lower than expected sales in North American and Europe. This is bad news for investors, and worse news for gamers and some EA employees, as the announcement also says EA "is continuing to pursue cost saving initiatives including a reduction of its product portfolio for fiscal year 2010 with additional associated headcount reductions and facility consolidations." Gamasutra reports on a related conference call where EA CEO John Riccitiello says the company's focus for the next year will be titles with the greatest "hit potential," and strong online features. Word is the sports label will likely remain unaffected and Riccitiello also specifically praised Spore, Dead Space and Warhammer, while expressing faith in Mirror's Edge, saying it: "was very strongly reviewed... we'll be looking at some issues around the design to make sure that strong IP is married with strong business. Many times, what happens with new IP is the first edition doesn't generate the units that subsequent editions could generate. In this particular year, the consumer might have been more reticent to take risks than they might otherwise be, and it was a very crowded holiday."