EA CEO John Riccitiello on learning from mistakes, new IP and more

Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello - Image 1 “To err is human…” or so the saying goes. Electronic Arts‘ CEO John Riccitiello had a little something to say about learning from one’s professional mistakes during a recent Q & A session. Read all about Riccitiello’s responses in the full article, located after the jump.

Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello - Image 1When you’re Chief Executive Officer of a major company like Electronic Arts (EA), the buck stops with you, and this can sometimes lead to errors. In a recent Q & A session, EA head honcho John Riccitiello told interviewers all about how he handled his own mistakes. He also tackled the issue of bringing new IP (intellectual property) into the market.

According to Riccitiello, his biggest professional mistake involved the premature launch of ea.com back in 1999. The lesson he learned from that one was: be willing to admit your made a mistake and change your direction “even when it’s your baby.”

Regarding the risks of introducing new IP into the market, the EA CEO emphasized the need for balance and the need to be fair to both consumer and developer alike:

There’s a growing awareness that games that aren’t great just don’t sell. Gamers do a lot of research and demand the very best experiences for their money – they won’t buy a mediocre game. Rushing a game out the door before it’s polished isn’t fair to the consumer or to the teams that make the games. But delaying a game to invest for quality can, at times, be just an excuse for bad planning. We all need to build in time for polish when we plan our games.

This isn’t necessarily a new approach, but there is a clear recognition that new games (and great sequels) need time to develop properly. The games that we held back last year could have shipped, but doing that would have pissed off the consumer. And pissing off consumers is a very risky business proposition. You only get to do it once before they abandon the franchise. Rushing an incomplete game into the market is just bad business.

Riccitiello touched upon a number of other topics as well, such as free-to-play MMORPGs, the ActivisionBlizzard company merger and in-game advertising. If you’d like more information on those, the source link below will take you back to the full interview.

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