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Riccitiello: EA should have bet on Wii; PS3 and 360 still 'meaningful'


We know Electronic Arts has been kicking itself for underestimating the Wii since the console first came out in November of '06. When John Riccitiello rejoined EA the following February, that decision was already made and he's been turning the boat around ever since, telling the Mercury News, "We typically figured out who the market leader was going to be before the start of the cycle and bet with our development resources on that platform. We made the wrong call there (by betting on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360), which made this transition harder than it would otherwise be." In development for Wii: EA Sports All Play lineup; SimAnimals; MySims Kingdom; Boogie Superstar; Hasbro Family Game Night; Skate It; and more. Let's hope they fare better than the underappreciated Boom Blox.

Of course, increased focus on the Wii doesn't mean that EA is ignoring the 360, PS3, or PC markets. In fact, the company just had what could arguably be called its best E3 showing ever – Spore, Dead Space, Mirror's Edge, Dragon Age: Origins, Left 4 Dead, Rock Band 2 – comprised entirely of games for those platforms. Riccitiello addresses the continued focus on "next-gen" development saying that what's "unusual in this cycle is there's a second and third place that is meaningful, against which we can build a profitable business."

We're sure EA will do fine with Wii and DS, but we've got our eyes squarely on those second and third place consoles. We don't know what it costs to run a big, fancy gaming company but if it helps in your quarterly budgeting, EA, we're planning to buy at least ... twelve of each of those titles.
In this article: EA, Electronic-Arts, John-Riccitiello, Wii

Motivated by either an unhealthy Messianic complex or a dearth of career opportunities (he never could decide which), Chris put his college education to good use as a carpenter before becoming editor-in-chief of Joystiq and editorial director of Joystiq's own Massively and WoW Insider.

In those roles, he's served as an IGF judge, an E3 judge, a VGA judge, and a podcast host; interviewed many of the industry's familiar faces, from Bill Gates to John Carmack; spoken at plenty of places from MIT to GDC; and appeared in or on CNN, The New York Times, BBC, all while reporting on the video game industry for the world's top gaming news and information site.

He hangs his hat in the cultural epicenter of the video game industry. Philadelphia.