EA Says Critic Should "Try Decaf"

EA Says Critic Should "Try Decaf"

image

Electronic Arts says Mitch Lasky, the former EA executive who recently criticized the company by saying it's "in the wrong business," should try drinking decaffeinated coffee instead.

Lasky, formerly the executive vice president of EA Mobile, couldn't resist joining in the criticism of EA management last week that came in the wake of yet another disappointing quarter and reduced fiscal year guidance. "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," he said. "Think again."

But EA isn't taking that kind of trash-talk lying down, at least not from a guy who they clearly believe (or at least imply) is just shooting his mouth off because he's mad about being passed over for the top job in favor of John Riccitiello. "Mitch needs to try decaf," said Jeff Brown, head of corporate communications at Electronic Arts. "It's never easy being turned down for a job, but most people don't spend three years obsessing about it. Since Mitch left EA, Apple invented the iPhone, Facebook evolved to include a gaming platform and EA Mobile became the world leader."

Not the most politically-phrased response, perhaps, but under the circumstances it's hard to blame Brown for venting a little frustration. Quite possibly adding to that is the fact that Lasky made some very good arguments for why he thinks EA has missed the boat.

"EA has in the past three years invested in a bunch of interesting original IP and has vastly improved product quality. They have many compelling packaged goods games in the pipeline. From a consumer's perspective, there's a lot to be said for that, and many of the comments I have gotten have been centered around EA's turn-around from the hard core gamer's perspective. They have created a ton of goodwill with core gamers," he wrote in a follow-up post on his personal blog.

"My point was not about whether Dead Space was a good game or not. It is," he continued. "But it's largely irrelevant, a bit like winning a hand at a blackjack table in Vegas. The odds are stacked against you long-term. And this is my view of the packaged goods business. We can argue about how long it's going to take, but at some point in the not-too-distant future, the packaged goods games business is going the way of music CDs and books. You may still be buying games for $50 and downloading them (although I kind of doubt that will be the winning model). But one way or another, the games BUSINESS is going to transform into an e-commerce business."

In fact, Riccitiello's echoed Lasky's comments in a call to investors following the company's third quarter financial statement, when he admitted that the company's turnaround is going to take longer than expected. "What we've described as a two-year comeback is clearly taking longer," he said. "But... I think we've got the right strategies going forward and the right team executing them."

Permalink

That's a lot of metaphors. Almost as if he was up against the Paxman.

If you're not in trouble then EA, how come we keep hearing about your staff-butchering?

You know, as much as I dislike EA Games... I like the way he handled this.

Ah, Electronic Arts: I will laugh heartily when your empire is reduced to ash.

It'll be interesting to see who's right when Riccitiello's grand plan pans out (or doesn't). It always amazes me how few people take a long term view in business, especially in games where it take 2 years+ to make a 'big' title and more than that to get a franchise up and running.
Although it's hard to see them passing ActiBliz to be number 1 again, it'll only take a few years of Actibliz becoming complacent and producing same game franchises for them to come crashing down like EA did. We just need to see it happen.

darthzew:
You know, as much as I dislike EA Games... I like the way he handled this.

Same here, its like corporate flame wars...pretty entertaining to watch

I know this may not be relevant to the story, but that picture is giving me vertigo...

I want to pass off everything he said and just have a hissy fit in a corner saying "I hate you and your securom".

I'll resist.

Also, Corporate flame wars are funny stuff.

Jaredin:

darthzew:
You know, as much as I dislike EA Games... I like the way he handled this.

Same here, its like corporate flame wars...pretty entertaining to watch

It's only a few steps away from 'disregard that, i suck cocks' honestly!

Thanks for the screenshot. Now I want to replay ME, but I can't because I'm too busy playing ME to get ready for the sequel.

On-topic: I honestly thought this would be about EA telling this site's famously fast-talking critic to try decaf.

Ok, Riccitiello is my hero now. Just responding that someone who's crtical of his business practices should "Try Decaf Coffee from now on" is probably my favorite "talk to the hand" moment ever.

honestly, I need to write that quote down, and remember its context because it's great.

At least Riccitiello has a sense of humor, unlike his business nemesis, Bobby Kotick. Kotick boldly intends to remove all happiness from the world, he's like the Galactic Emperor.

lol, they are in the wrong business it really dissapoints me when a good developer end up with EA publishing becuase you know that you're going to get stuck with DRM and piss poor tech support (which you almost always end up needing)

That man is awesome.

And I am at least a fan of some games EA has made/published (while I care very little for the company itself)

I am currently enjoying Army of Two: The 40th Day, even though it does make me feel like a douchebag!

Fuck yeah EA!

You better start working on you awesome things, you have a whole lot a history to work off.

Lasky may have some things that sound credible, but what sticks to my mind is that the cuts that EA did occured after this guy left. If the tree is dying, you don't just keep feeding it fertilizer and hope for the best, you prune the dead and dying parts. And if Brown is correct at saying EA mobile is doing much better, then considering that was Lasky's job, I would have to say that he got passed over for good reason.
Like I said before, a CEO of a videogame publisher who is more excited about games is more important than one who only worries about the bottom line. If you stare at the bottom line, you aren't going to be anywhere else.
Next step: putting Activision back in the competitive grid.

I absolutely approve of the way that this was handled; it's very easy for a guy who jumped ship when EA stopped re-releasing sequels to criticize.
I like how EA and Activision switched roles; now Activision is the evil game-milking empire, and EA is the one progressing gaming as an art form.

He should also break the prozacs in half.

gee how long is ea going to keep fighting ?

it shows that they still want to make games , and don't want to go away

darthzew:
You know, as much as I dislike EA Games... I like the way he handled this.

I'm glad someone is finally speaking their mind in the business, not worrying about fallout from any of it.

If everyone else was blunt and to the point, maybe we'd get some work done in this world instead of everyone walking around with brown noses.

Altorin:
Ok, Riccitiello is my hero now. Just responding that someone who's crtical of his business practices should "Try Decaf Coffee from now on" is probably my favorite "talk to the hand" moment ever.

honestly, I need to write that quote down, and remember its context because it's great.

At least Riccitiello has a sense of humor, unlike his business nemesis, Bobby Kotick. Kotick boldly intends to remove all happiness from the world, he's like the Galactic Emperor.

That wasn't Riccitiello, that was Jeff Brown who told Lasky to drink decaf. Riccitiello is the idiot they put in charge who can't keep his mouth shut about anything, including telling investors that TOR will be released in 2011.....BEFORE Bioware said anything. In fact, it looked like Bioware went "WTF" and then had to rush and do a press release saying that yes they would be pushed back to 2011.

Makes me wonder if they hadn't planned a '10 release but EA didn't want it to show on their 2011 fiscal year and so pushed it back.

At this rate, I hope they don't make another Simcity. They'll completely ruin my faith in the good ones. (Pretty much all of them, except Societies and Creator; Societies isn't as fun and Creator is so easy I put it on Hard and even then managed to smash it without hiring any advisors or using Industrial.)
(Sorry for people who don't play Simcity and don't understand what I mean)

the only good games EA has ever published was the LOTR games, as well as the upcoming Dante´s Inferno. and thats out of about 500-700 games.

they should be the ones to drink decaffeined piss instead...

Christemo:
the only good games EA has ever published was the LOTR games, as well as the upcoming Dante´s Inferno. and thats out of about 500-700 games.

they should be the ones to drink decaffeined piss instead...

Are you for real? If anything the LotR games were part of the sequel/rehashing of IPs that EA did.
Off the top of my head I will counter your argument with:
Dungeon Keeper
Freedom Force
Desert Strike
Privateer 2
Shogun Total War
Aplha Centauri
Sim City 1+2
Syndicate
Most Ultima games if memory serves

Oh, and yea, as can be seen, I'm a pc gamer. I own all those games save some Ultima ones and Freedom Force.

And more recently perhaps:
Mass Effect
Dragon Age
Mirror's Edge

Some of those games are not new and some of them are not perfect but nonetheless they are published by EA. And lately I think EA has turned things around. In fact, compared to Actiblizzion EA now seem like the protectors of creativity, fresh ideas, freedom from DRM and perhaps smelling of purple flowers. That is sublime irony. While I wont buy any Actiblizzion games anymore I have no qualms about getting one from EA these days.

We can argue about how long it's going to take, but at some point in the not-too-distant future, the packaged goods games business is going the way of music CDs and books.

Wow, there are really a growing number of techheads who seem to live in fantasy land. They think everyone has a smartphone and subscriptions to numerous online services; that no one buys anything in physical form anymore.

Where do these people live, I wonder? Some gated community somewhere, with corporate security forces in black uniform and dark visors patrolling the fences?

Just to be clear, a LOT of people still buy books (and, yes, CDs too). Gamers included.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here