EA to cut game roster down to 40 projects

EA to cut game roster down to 40 projects

By Rob Crossley

December 2nd 2009 at 11:18AM

CEO John Riccitiello speaks of the growing importance of digital games

EA boss John Riccitiello has admitted that the firm will need to make significant cuts to its publishing contracts and development projects in order to remedy its haemorrhaging capital.

In an interview with Reuters, Riccitiello revealed that the company will cut down on the number of products it publishes, down from 50 to about 40 in the next fiscal year, with a renewed focus on core franchises.

"Thirty wouldn't shock me at some point in the future," Riccitiello added.
 
His comments come after EA announced a round of 1,500 job cuts following its Q2 results last month.

900 of those are due to come in the firm’s development teams, with 500 coming from publishing. The layoff operation is hoped will save the company around $100 million annually.

Riccitiello said the firm’s cost-cutting strategy was “an offensive, positive step towards the evolution of our business."

Elsewhere in the interview, Riccitiello spoke of EA's purchase of social game group Playfish for $300 million – a figure that could rise to $400 million over time.

"We're the world's leader in packaged goods games, we make more of them than anybody," Riccitiello said. “We're not suggesting that business is going away ... (but) there's this other thing that's growing."

Riccitiello said there will always be a market for packaged franchises such as Madden and FIFA, but he said that the ever-growing digital sector cannot be ignored.

“It's our goal for that [digital, online] business to be as important as, and over time maybe more important than, our packaged goods business," he said.