It’s a transition period for the games industry as developers and publishers start moving towards the next generation and wind down the current one. It seems Electronic Arts is also going through their own transition as their CEO for the past six years, John Riccitiello, is stepping down from his position. His last day will be on March 30. You can read about his thoughts in what will probably be his final blog post here.
Interestingly enough, EA’s former President and CEO, Larry Probst, will be stepping up again to lead the company during this transition.
So why did this happen? Obviously, we’ll never get the whole truth behind the move but we can certainly speculate. It’s no secret that EA has recently run into some trouble spots including the SimCity debacle, layoffs and studio closures, and their earnings have begun to decline. Riccitiello goes on to take responsibility for EA’s current financial shortcomings. In the short-term, I can’t see much changing but over time, it’s very possible when you consider the state EA is in. With the next gen cycle looming, now seems like a good enough time to press the refresh button. Regardless, it’s my hope that the company continues to take risks and invest in original IPs like Mirror’s Edge and shy away from pumping out Battlefield sequels and spin offs left and right.
While John Riccitiello remains a divisive personality with gamers, we can’t forget the good he’s done as well giving us titles like Dead Space, Mirror’s Edge, the Rock Band franchise and yes, Brutal Legend. I wish him the best with whatever is next for him.