EA CEO: Zynga games â??may not stand test of timeâ??

EA CEO: Zynga games â??may not stand test of timeâ??

By Rob Crossley

November 30th 2010 at 11:18AM

Riccitiello snubs the social firm that may have out-valued EA in just three years

The rising star of social games space is not immune to its own black holes, the CEO of Electronic Arts has warned.

In an interview with Bloomberg, John Riccitiello said Zynga “has a chance that Farmville will stand the test of time successfully, but it’s far from clear to me that that’s a certainty”.

Zynga has been the game industry’s breakthrough success story of the last three years. Founded in 2007, the private company’s value recently surpassed EA’s, according to SharesPost Inc.

But Riccitiello, having spent as much as $400 million for social game firm Playfish, said he will use social networks to leverage Electronic Arts’ own IP.

Bloomberg paraphrased Riccitiello as saying Electronic Arts “has an opportunity in the proliferation of devices for playing games”.

EA has reported a chain of consecutive quarterly losses for over two years.

Elsewhere in the interview, Riccitiello appeared to suggest that prices of various game studios have become over-inflated.

“There are probably 25 companies on our radar that would make sense for us [to buy] at somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of the asking price,” he said.

Riccitiello would rather buy firms that add technology, capability and intellectual property, he said.