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After cutting over 1,500 employees from its workforce, Electronic Arts has revealed that it will also be reducing the number of games it releases next year, according to a report from Reuters. The company, which will release around 50 titles this year, plans to cut that number down to 40 next year, and possibly even less in the future.
"Thirty wouldn't shock me at some point in the future," CEO John Riccitiello said.
The move comes as EA attempts to continue its focus on quality games, but also as it shifts towards more digital releases. "We're the world's leader in packaged goods games, we make more of them than anybody," Riccitiello explained. "We're not suggesting that business is going away...(but) there's this other thing that's growing."
"It's our goal for that business to be as important as, and over time maybe more important than, our packaged goods business," he added, saying that he believes that 2010 will see digital releases garner 50% of the industry, up from 40% this year.
The news should come as little surprise considering EA recently spent approximately $400 million to acquire developer Playfish, which focuses on creating free-to-play games on Facebook. The company has also made other moves in the past—such as releasing titles on digital distribution platforms like Steam or releasing the casual shooter Battlefield Heroes—that hint towards a digital shift.
With sales dropping across the board, it seems that EA is doing whatever it can to produce profits. So far, the company's plan on focusing on quality, new intellectual property has been somewhat of a mixed bag, with titles like Spore and Mirror's Edge performing below expectations. Meanwhile, stabs at digital games like Battlefield Heroes have seen some less than stellar results.
So we have a company, who in their downsizing maneuvers, has plans to cut their workforce, reduce the number of titles they release yearly, f2p games, even move towards more digital sales more ...all in an effort to save money and increase profits. I understand that in the current economic situation that times are tough and its a companies job to turn profits to its stock holders. Hell thats any gaming companies job.
Great for EA, but why in all of these ideas they mentioned, why was a price cut never mentioned? Is EA honestly telling us they are going to reduce from 50 to 40, even possibly 30 titles per year and not increase prices to make up for lost revenues? Hell they are even going digital more which means lower costs for the company...and still no talk of a price drop. Unbelieveable.
Ya, gotta love these guys sometimes.
*Edit - Edited out some of the all but one of the "So"'s I had in there. Paulaner beer and typin' on MMORPG.com doesn't mix too well
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