EA Going From Strength To Strength…But Only In Certain Areas

Conference calls; since when have they been exciting? Well, EA held one last night for investors and it appears that they are having a whale of a time.

FIFA 10 is outselling PES 2010 4-1, Madden sales are up, 2010’s Need For Speed is deep in development and they’re confident that Battlefield: Bad Company 2 will hold it’s own against Modern Warfare 2. Is there no stopping EA?

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Criterion, the developer behind the awesome Burnout franchise, are well into the development of the reinvigorated Need For Speed franchise, with EA Games label President – Frank Gibeau – admitting that they had previously neglected the racing title. But now EA have ‘fixed that’. Need For Speed Shift has sold 2.5 million units so far and it would seem that their new-found interest for the franchise is paying off.

FIFA 10, which climbed back to the top of the UK charts this week, is apparently outselling its closest rival – PES 2010 – by 4-1 and its sales are over 30% better than FIFA 09. With a new legion of fans preferring FIFA, things look set to improve for their football title.

When it comes to DICE’s Battlefield Bad Company 2, EA have said they can compete with Call of Duty on ‘quality and online play’. They have also stated that the Medal of Honor franchise will also see a new lease of life.

To top all of this off, EA have said that they will also be bringing back some old IP and giving them a new life.

What with Dante’s Inferno on its way and Dead Space 2 rumored for 2010, we could see EA becoming even more dominating.

UPDATE: It would appear that Tuffcub and I were both thinking of EA, just from different angles. Here’s Tuffcub’s update:

Electronic arts have announced job losses of 1,500 in corporate restructuring aimed to focus on ‘Blockbuster Games’.  Earlier on this year one of EAs CEOs, John Riccitiello claimed that the company was too reliant on yearly updates and franchises but unfortunatly games such as Mirrors Edge, Dead Space and Brutal Legend have failed to create massive sales. Ricciteollo has said:

“Anything that doesn’t measure up to looking like it can pencil out to be in very high profit contributor and high unit seller got cut from our title slate from this point going forward.”

In other words, unless it makes millions EA won’t be selling it.  Dead Space 2 and the rumoured Jack The Ripper game couldbe in the firing line along with the Command & Conquer franchise.

“We are focusing on what works and what matters,” said chief financial officer Eric Brown.

This is probably the worst news for gaming in a long time, EA were championed for taking a stand and ditching their ‘yearly update’ approach and creating new titles but it has not worked. Despite decent reviews the sales did not materialse.

Update #2: Tuffcub brings us more bad news from the EA camp.

Another piece of news has emerged that adds weight to the argument that EA might not be doing that well after all. CEO of the compnay – John Riccitiello – has revealed that they are slashing the number of releases by up to 50%. Their 2011 Fiscal Year begins April 2010 and from then until March 2011, they will only be releasing 30-odd titles; a reduction from the usual 60-odd.

The CEO has also said that due to the economic climate, EA will not be investing in risky new IP. Apparently, EA want to be top of the charts and to do so means sacrificing fresh games. In fact, Riccitiello has indicated that 12 unannounced titles will be cancelled, despite the fact that some of them may already be in development.

It’s looking more and more likely that Dead Space 2 and The Ripper may never hit our consoles.

There is more bad news. It looks likely that EA will closing down several ‘facilities’ in order to keep expenditure as low as possible.

Sources: Gi.biz and MCVUK

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