Following today's news of EA lowering its forecast for fiscal year '09, the mega-publisher held a conference call – mainly for investors – to go into a little more detail as to the why's of the situation and the how's of the solution. Fingers were metaphorically pointed at retailers for shortening their stock of all but the best-selling games, while new properties were praised for faring well with reviewers.
EA CEO, John Riccitiello, began the call by pointing out that 17 of the company's '08 titles earned aggregate Metacritic scores above 80, versus only seven the year before. New IPs – specifically Dead Space and Mirror's Edge – were praised, but Riccitiello pointed out during the Q&A portion of the call that these franchises will perform better once established. "Dead Space looks like a long-term big winner for us," he said, later confirming, "[Mirror's Edge] is going to go forward."
The EA boss placed substantial emphasis on the impact of major retailers cutting their stock of all but the top five best-selling titles this holiday season. Looking forward, he said to expect the company to produce fewer titles overall next year, with core and casual games seeing equal, indeterminate cuts; sports will be untouched. Riccitiello also confirmed that studio consolidation will play a role in EA's FY10 cost-cutting plans, as will the merging of labels, specifically EA Sims and EA Casual, into one.