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'EA is in the wrong business,' ex-exec Lasky blogs


Former Electronic Arts executive Mitch Lasky, who is now a member of venture firm Benchmark Capital, is not holding back his thoughts on the current financial turbulence at EA. Once EA's executive VP of mobile and online, Lasky now writes on his personal blog, "EA is in the wrong business, with the wrong cost structure and the wrong team, but somehow they seem to think that it is going to be a smooth, two-year transition from packaged goods to digital."

Strictly from a business perspective, Lasky lays out what he sees has gone wrong at EA, noting that in February of 2007 he made the argument to the former EA CEO that the company needed to cut $200 million annually by "reducing headcount and cutting back on ridiculous expenditures on risky titles" like Spore, Godfather and The Simpsons. He also advocated for "hyper-aggressive [research and development] investment and acquisitions in a transition to digital distribution and games-as-service." EA is starting to make such a transition, as seen in the publisher's strong iPhone and mobile sales, along with its dabbling in Facebook games. On the other hand, EA's MMO track record has been a legacy of failure that includes Earth & Beyond, The Sims Online and (sorry) Warhammer Online -- but perhaps Star Wars: The Old Republic will change that.

Given that EA's current value is so low (by billionaire's standards), Lasky finds it incredible that nobody has stepped in and scooped up the company for a bargain, noting that "Disney has been looking at them since I was at the house of the mouse back in the early 90's. And there are Chinese companies, like TenCent, that could easily swallow EA whole."

[Via Big Download]

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