EA Reevaluates Its Strategy

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After a very disappointing holiday quarter in 2008, in which the company lost 641 million USD, Electronic Arts' chief operating officer, John Pleasants, made some interesting statements at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference a few days ago: "The biggest thing was that we didn't make hits."

As a result of the weak economy and missing hits, EA is currently cutting down costs by reducing its work force by about 11 percent and closing 12 facilities. The question now is: did they learn from their previous mistakes, though? As mentioned, EA is planning to cut jobs in all areas, with the exception of marketing. Pleasants actually said that they are going to increase, not decrease, the money spend on marketing.

"The game-development process has evolved, so the marketing should as well," he said. "It's less about 'We have an idea, we go away for 24 months and spend USD 30 million working on a game, then put a little buzz out there and hope it works.' We need to have a dialogue with the audience, take a longer lead time and make sure we have the right mix of digital and traditional."

Besides that, EA plans to lower the number of titles they are going to release per year by about 20 percent. "You can lose your way on basic execution when you have too many games," Pleasants said.

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