News Article

EA CEO John Riccitiello Resigns

Posted by Andy Green

Decision made after poor financial results

Electronic Arts' John Riccitiello has handed in his letter of resignation and will be stepping down from his position as chief executive officer on 31st March 2013 after being in charge of the company for six years.

Larry Probst, who was the publisher's CEO from 1991 to 2007, will be the man in charge until the company can find a new big boss. He had the following to say about Riccitiello:

We thank John for his contributions to EA since he was appointed CEO in 2007, especially the passion, dedication and energy he brought to the company every single day. John has worked hard to lead the company through challenging transitions in our industry, and was instrumental in driving our very significant growth in digital revenues.

In a blog post on EA's website Riccitiello said:

My decision to leave EA is really all about my accountability for the shortcomings in our financial results this year. It currently looks like we will come in at the low end of, or slightly below, the financial guidance we issued to the Street, and we have fallen short of the internal operating plan we set one year ago. And for that, I am 100 percent accountable.

Riccitiello said in a statement shortly after he resigned:

EA is an outstanding company with creative and talented employees, and it has been an honor to serve as the Company's CEO. I am proud of what we have accomplished together, and after six years I feel it is the right time for me pass the baton and let new leadership take the Company into its next phase of innovation and growth. I remain very optimistic about EA's future — there is a world class team driving the Company's transition to the next generation of game consoles.

EA has not provided any explanation on Riccitiello's resignation. Its stock has risen 2.89 per cent as a result, which suggests investors are in favour of his departure.

What are your thoughts on this change within EA? Let us know in the comments below.

[via eurogamer.net, ea.com]

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User Comments (53)

Kyoto

#1

Kyoto said:

And now the rest of the EA staff. I've always disliked this company.

edhe

#6

edhe said:

A shortcoming in their financial results? How is this possible?

I hope it doesn't mean that EA will stop supporting the Wii U.

darkgamer001

#8

darkgamer001 said:

I wonder if this will spell an end to the spoilt brat attitude that EA have been taking in their relationship with Nintendo lately....

Peach64

#9

Peach64 said:

I think he's actually done a lot of good at EA. The two main examples are Need for Speed and FIFA. Six years ago they were not great games, but they sold huge numbers. EA could have kept going like that, and kept raking in the money, but they completely turned FIFA around and made it far superior to Konami's Pro Evo series, and they got some great dev teams involved with Need for Speed and started to mix it up with spin-offs like Shift.

ThreadShadow

#10

ThreadShadow said:

EA is still EA, but I'd like to see him resign from the ESRB. The ESRB has turned into an absolute joke with regards to their digital policy. In this day and age when hundreds of games are releasing digital only and they stop giving rating summaries to these. It's just ridiculous. I suppose it isn't just his fault, so ESRB needs to get their act together.

DePapier

#12

DePapier said:

@Five-seveN It has already started. :( For once I'd be happy for Bankai to come around and whoop some butts... :|
But WTF... I mean... and I think it was him back then that was talking about the next generation that "had yet to come..." I swear, folks, we've seen examples: THQ who is now extinct, Atari whose American branch died recently, and now EA... Folks, for the sake of this industry, stop bashing the Wii U and keep your jobs!!!!!!!!! :O

Gamercake

#13

Gamercake said:

Squeezed every penny out of gamers through micro-transactions etc. yet still get poor financial results.

Gamercake

#14

Gamercake said:

He would've single-handedly brought the downfall of the video game industry. Good thing he quit.

Amigaengine

#16

Amigaengine said:

Oh man hate to hear that. Sure he will walk away with a great compensation package.

Maybe he and Pachter can do a show together on GT.

Donjwolf

#17

Donjwolf said:

Doesn't matter much to me. All the hate towards this company is laughable. A good game is a good game. I don't care who made the game. I enjoy some of EA's games. If you don't want to buy DLC, then don't. Nobody's forcing you.

RantingThespian

#20

RantingThespian said:

I wonder if any of this was a result of the Sim City fiasco (both the horrible launch and the lies about it not being capable to play offline).

Capt_N

#21

Capt_N said:

I wonder if he was fired, & given the opportunity to "quit"; leave w/ dignity, so to speak, obviously for good pr. On the other hand, he may have actually felt he needed to step down, after certain facts, or perhaps just a single fact, came to light.

@Donjwolf: Absolutely true. "A good game is a good game".

Ryno

#22

Ryno said:

My prediction: John Riccitiello will be starting a Kickstarter campaign and if he raises enough money he may put the game on Wii U.

Haxonberik

#25

Haxonberik said:

Was he the responsible of day 1 dlc, microtransactions and online drm? Because if he was, I'm so glad he's gone.

Neram

#26

Neram said:

I doubt this will even change much. They'll just find someone else to fill his spot, but I think it's safe to assume they're still going to follow the same business model of DLC and microtransactions etc.

EA is, and always has been, pretty damn mediocre. They have lucked out by buying up some smaller, more talented developers, so therefore they have some decent games under their banner. From a players perspective, I see some alright games and I'll buy them if they appeal to me, regardless of whether or not it's EA behind it. Lately I've had some people say to me "You should stop supporting EA and better vote with you wallet.", but I'm not about to limit myself from playing certain games just because people don't like EA. Once the DLC and microtransactions get to a point where I feel that it's really affecting my satisfaction with a game, then I'll stop buying into it, but so far in my experience that hasn't happened yet.

EDIT: On second thought, I did recently try Star Wars: The Old Republic again, and that has become a DLC and microtransaction hell. So, that leads me to believe it's only going to get worse from here on out, for their future titles.

Gamer83

#28

Gamer83 said:

I never like to see anybody lose their job so I won't be joining those who celebrate this or laugh at it like a bunch of idiots. That said, this guy did make some really bad decisions, it'll be interesting to see if whoever takes over learned anything or if he/she will continue down the same wrong path. The worst idea ever were those in-game microtransactions, that needs to be the first thing to go. If not, then this change is entirely pointless.

burninmylight

#29

burninmylight said:

@edhe

More like we hope this means EA will stop supporting the Wii U in such a half-*** manner and stop sending games to it to die.

burninmylight

#30

burninmylight said:

@Gamer83

I hear he's leaving with $40 million in the bank. He doesn't need your sympathy. Feel bad for the people who get fired and lay awake wondering how they're going to put food on the table, not the douchebag CEO's who run a company into the ground.

Dpishere

#32

Dpishere said:

Maybe this wouldn't happen if they didn't need 5 million in sales for a franchise to remain viable.

JSuede

#35

JSuede said:

This is what happens when you try a power grab on Nintendo, Riccitiello.

Jokes aside, if he is the main reason for the whole....microtransaction thing....I'm only glad he is gone if things turn around. He paints a scary future with what he thinks mt's should be and how easy it would be to exploit them in a game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR6-u8OIJTE

If that was all him and not a decision of the entire company.....good riddance. Mass Effect was the last franchise I cared about that EA had, now that the trilogy is over (for better or worse), I can do without playing their games, no problem. In fact, that was the last EA game I bought....not even out of principle.

BabyLogey

#37

BabyLogey said:

@Mewtwo21 If you like The Sims (like me), remember that EA Games is the publisher of the series, and a lot of people'd be dissapointed (but if that happened, Sims would probably get a new publisher).

sethlaw225

#39

sethlaw225 said:

This comes to no surprise, I mean They fully made 2 NBA games that where cancelled (nba elite, nba live 13 ) madden doesn't sell what it use to, NHL series doesn't have enough fan base and Fifa maybe there best bet. They just laid off hundreds @ a studio in california. (i'm only referring to EA developed and published games so battlefield doesn't count)

millarrp

#42

millarrp said:

I don't see much changing in the short term, but it will be interesting to see what the next year or two will bring,...

JSuede

#45

JSuede said:

@Nintendo4Lyfe I agree. He is the reason every EA game has half-butt'd, shoehorned multiplayer of some kind. He is actually proud of the fact that he hasn't greenlit a title that was single player only. Ugh.

FullbringIchigo

#46

FullbringIchigo said:

good riddance now maybe the big N will get some more EA games and DLC because all this guy has done is bad mouth Nintendo lately because he didn't like them

of course the main games i would like are Mass Effect 1 and 2 because even though as a company EA are kinda a** holes they have released some good games like the aforementioned Mass Effect games

seronja

#47

seronja said:

thank god! now i hope that a new CEO will bring bioware the justice they deserve and let bioware make games the way they want and not the way the EA wants =D good ridance xD

AJWolfTill

#48

AJWolfTill said:

Can we have the Mass Effect and maybe even theDead Space trilogies now? I can't imagine it would require a huge amount of resources to bring them over.

TheEmerlLad

#49

TheEmerlLad said:

If only Larry Probst can stay in seat for the upcoming years. If they really want good fiscal reports AND good rep they'll have to find a person with a sane mind to make the executive decisions and give the developers they all consume to give them AT LEAST some breathing room! One of the biggest cover ups was to the whole ME3 ending thing. The story was phenomenal until Bioware was forced to making it a rushed game at the very end.

Think about how great the ending to Shep's trilogy with a kick-ass ending! No free-DLC or lil gifts in the world can change that. Why can't they straight up change the mistakes?

I really hope they'll really crack down for future games from their devs and play nice. EA was a great company during Larry Probst era. He has to give positive pointers to the next guy in charge.

AugustusOxy

#53

AugustusOxy said:

The concept of this and the way people believe that this is exactly what is going on is astonishing.

The reality is, he has another job lined up and he is saying to hell with jive ass EA. Same with Iwata if he actually leaves nintendo. They don't leave because poor decisions, they leave because they want to. If the industry fired everyone who made poor decisions, Simon Strange wouldn't still have a job.

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