EA Games Chief Executive Resigns
Electronic Arts' Chief Executive Officer John Riccitiello has resigned after being CEO of the video games publisher for 6 years, saying he held himself accountable for missed operational targets, reports New York Times. Riccitiello will resign from his post and leave the company board on March 30. Larry Probst, former CEO and chairman of the board, has been appointed as executive chairman until the company finds someone to replace Riccitello.
"We have fallen short of the internal operating plan we set one year ago," Riccitiello said in a resignation letter filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. "EA's shareholders and employees expect better and I am accountable for the miss." EA games has seen a near-two-thirds loss in its market value since he became CEO in April 2007.
EA and other similar game publishers have seen growth fall off sharply as gamers turn to less traditional games such as those present in social networks or on mobile devices. There has been a definite trend of consumers towards games that are free or less demanding in terms of time and effort, causing traditional game publishers to see a gradual decrease in profits. Though EA games and similar publishers have tried to buy startups and invest in mobile platforms but they face intense competition from players like Rovio or Zynga, and smaller companies that initially offer their games for free on social networks or mobile devices, compared to the $60 price tag for most games released by EA.
Electronic Arts has also come under fire from
fans due to problems with their recently released game, SimCity. 1.1 million
units have been sold in what the company reports as the biggest SimCity debut to date, but many players had
trouble connecting online and staying connected. The company blamed the game’s unforeseen
popularity for the trouble because it overloaded its servers, and was forced to
offer players a free downloadable game.