EA’s John Riccitiello: Ship time to give way to quality

EA's John Riccitiello: Ship time to give way to quality - Image 1Ever since John Riccitiello took the chair as Chief Executive Officer of the largest game publisher in the world, he hasn’t been content sitting in his position of power. No – he’s been crusading for a new reform over Electronic Arts over the several months, and it’s starting to shake things up within the company’s walls. Right now, he’s at it again: EA’s games are to favor quality over ship time in 2008 and beyond. More at the full story.

EA's John Riccitiello: Ship time to give way to quality - Image 1

Electronic Arts‘ CEO John Riccitiello says that 2008 will be a change for the superstar publisher, as they plan to resolve the disappointment over the publisher’s game scores back in 2007. At a recent press conference hosted by EA, Riccitiello also opined that his overall preference between ship time and quality would favor quality:

I would say without hesitation that our quality is going to be up this year versus the prior year. I would say without hesitation that our ship timing is going to be improved versus the prior year.

Previously, EA took a licking from observations on Metacritic ratings – the publisher’s games only averaged at about 77% in review ratings. Riccitiello’s new goal is to raise that average to 80% by 2011.

If better games are coming this year, should we expect them to be delayed? Nothing’s written in stone yet, and even EA’s top brass said that there are processes currently underway to improve on timeliness as well. However, they’ve still got a long way to go.

Riccitiello recently advocated the idea of “city-state” concepts back in DICE 08, and then put it to work within the superstar publisher’s corporate operations. Since then, it has stirred up quite a storm within EA’s walls.

With it came DICE’s newfound confidence to pitch the free-to-play Battlefield Heroes to EA – a first in, well, the publisher’s history – and even instantly hushed brash whispers of “soul-sucking” within the company. The city-state model kept the developers independent in a sense, and gave them room to expand their creative horizons.

But will this new plan start incurring similar and surprising results? We have the rest of the fiscal year of 2008 to observe, and perhaps some of 2009 as well. More updates as we get them.

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