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EA drops games that "aren't growing", "aren't large enough", or not on viable systems

Nirolak

Mrgrgr
So, given the generally stagnant sales of Dead Space and Crysis, I probably wouldn't hold my breath for new entries from EA.

That said, Crytek owns the Crysis IP, so another publisher might take that.

Seeking Alpha said:
Edward Williams from BMO Capital Markets.
Edward S. Williams - BMO Capital Markets U.S.

Just a couple of quick questions. Larry, I was wondering if you and Blake can kind of follow up on your comments with regards to kind of your confidence level in the cost structure as we enter this console transition, given as you pointed out, Larry, that it's been 31 years, you haven't been able to keep costs flat on a year-to-year basis. And then secondly, Frank, if you can tell me a little bit more, just clarify for me a little bit more about Star Wars in terms of which platforms the games actually can be playable on?

Blake J. Jorgensen - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Let me start. This is Blake. I'll start with the operating margin question around the console transition. I think as everyone knows, we've given guidance over the last year that we were spending roughly $100 million a year on next-gen development. We've continued to include that in our expenses. What we've done is we've gone through a very detailed process to eliminate expenses associated with products that either aren't growing or aren't large enough or aren't on platforms that we feel are long-term viable in the industry. And then we've also focused on how to minimize costs around the support structures inside the organization to make sure that the studios are getting the core funding for developing games. And so we've tried to consolidate our marketing organizations. We've tried to consolidate our G&A support to make sure that we have a very lean structure. And we've taken those actions during the last 2 quarters to try to tee us up in a position where we'd be able to announce to you that we're going to hold our costs flat for the coming year. We're very confident of that. And for those who know Larry, he's a very tough manager. And so he's holding the executive team to that goal, and we're very focused on continuing to look for ways to bring our operating costs down to continue on the journey of expanding our margins.
Source: http://seekingalpha.com/article/141...-results-earnings-call-transcript?part=single

Since some people seem confused, they are expecting to release more titles per year in the future though:

Seeking Alpha said:
Andrew D. Connor - Piper Jaffray Companies, Research Division

And if I could just ask a question on the total console title count with the addition to maybe some Star Wars games moving forward and NBA Live, do you expect the total console title count to increase during the next gen or is it going to kind of continue to be at this reduced level?

Frank D. Gibeau - President of The EA Labels

My expectation -- this is Frank. My expectation is that as the console transition gets through this year and expands, you'll see our title count go up.
 

Data West

coaches in the WNBA
It's gonna suck when they run out of things to milk because they couldn't make something new.

I feel like, in 10 or so years, EA will JUST make sports games.
 

Zaventem

Member
I'm actually pretty happy that happened. It's sad Dead Space 3 ended on a sour note but i rather something be done entirely than end up like the splinter cell franchise.
 

Nirolak

Mrgrgr
It's gonna suck when they run out of things to milk because they couldn't make something new.

I feel like, in 10 or so years, EA will JUST make sports games.

They're expecting their title count to go up a bit as they head into next-gen, but yeah, they're pretty barebones at this point.
 

Squire

Banned
Then this covers Wii U as well.

And yeah, Dead Space is dead. Said in another thread, but I fully expect Visceral to start on a Star Wats game. They might be the first to have one out.
 

stn

Member
Maybe this is the end of Crysis? I say that because Crytek has said they'll be transitioning into F2P, and I assume EA will stop publishing the franchise?
 
Crysis hasn't been good since the original game, I don't know why EA would continue to publish games in the series after two consecutive bad games.
 

Talon

Member
Well, whatever minute, optimistic chance of Mirror's Edge 2...what am I talking about that never existed.
 

Vamphuntr

Member
By that logic shouldn't they have given up on Dragon Age? I guess if 3 doesn't do better than 1, it will be the end of the series.
 

Nirolak

Mrgrgr
Maybe this is the end of Crysis? I say that because Crytek has said they'll be transitioning into F2P, and I assume EA will stop publishing the franchise?

Near the end of Crysis 3's development cycle Crytek was talking about how a publisher wasn't decided for the next game yet, so I assume EA was signaling to them they were probably done with the franchise.
 

JDSN

Banned
Ahhh, I remember Peter Mooore's outrage over that site that reported that Dead Space was no more:


 
Crash would more than likely have occurred if they kept trying to force the issue with consoles and handhelds that they don't deem viable. This is a good sign, imo.

Uhh, no. Having to heavily scale back the number of games their producing is not a good thing. I don't know if you remember but EA use to be able to support all consoles and handhelds, with many more games, and were still able to maintain the same (and oftentimes better) profit margins
 

Qassim

Member
Crysis is a showcase for Crytek's Cryengine, I think they'll want to continue to use it to show off Cryengine at each new major release, even if EA isn't behind it, as it probably is useful when you're trying to sell a game engine.
 
I'm not sure "We're only gonna focus on the very few big games that we have" is a good sign. Not for the industry, not for the consumer.

Better than spreading themselves thinner as games sell worse and worse. *That* would cause them to crash faster than what they're doing now.
 

Effect

Member
Get ready for the crash.

I think we are in the crash. The crash isn't going to be a sudden and singular event that we can point to and say there it is. I think it's going to be a slow process and we are in it at the moment. It won't be for a number of years until we can look back and see it's beginning and possible end.
 

Lunar15

Member
Good. I'd rather them drop the pretense of even trying to appeal to me. Just make games for the audiences that work. I don't need their horrible practices in games I'd otherwise like.

Also, Moore can eat his previous rants.
 

ymmv

Banned
No more Dead Space or Cyrsis? Good. I'd rather see new IPs this gen than Dead Space/Crysis 4, 5 and 6.
 

Radec

Member
Well, you've gotten at least one, and maybe two of your wishes.

NBA is definitely coming back though. They talked a lot about it in the call.

I wonder how much cash they lost on Elite.

They havent learned their lesson I guess.
 
They're expecting their title count to go up a bit as they head into next-gen, but yeah, they're pretty barebones at this point.

Sports games and Star Wars games it is then!

Why not just make a couple of smaller games with lower budgets along with their blockbusters?

Not big enough profits.


I agree with that sentiment- make some really small, experimental type games. Like an Infinity engine style Dragon Age game or things like that. It'll never happen though.
 

TheSeks

Blinded by the luminous glory that is David Bowie's physical manifestation.
I feel like, in 10 or so years, EA will JUST make sports games.

And Battlefield. That's about the only claim to fame besides Burnout EA has with me. Need for Speed could be it, but Criterion made it too "heavy" and doesn't feel "Burnout" to me either.
 
I don't get it. Can't they just cut back on lavish development expenses and still make great games that are scaled back?

How much was Mirror's Edge, anyway?
 
What frustrates me about EA ending the Dead Space franchise is because it's not a failure of the IP or the interest of the public, but a failure of EA being able to turn it into a dude bro shooter.

No one wants Dead Space to be a dude bro shooter. They should have never tried to make it one.

EA would rather get rid of the franchise then give the fans what they want.
 

Rapstah

Member
How is it actually economically possible to only put money into things that are both growing and already big?
 

Lunar15

Member
This is more like traffic slowing on the highway. Everyone is slowing down (well... lots have crashed and died already). Maybe the traffic will stop and people will get out of the cars and stop driving cars.

I weirdly like this analogy.
 
Too bad. Mismanage teams and thus create wholly inefficient budgets, whereby necessitating ridiculous and unrealistic sales expectations and ending up failing to meet those expectations which in turn gets shit canned.

Vicious cycle.
 

Totobeni

An blind dancing ho
Even without this comment, we know Visceral is making a new IP and a Star Wars title.

Given they're one studio, and not a really huge one, I can't imagine they can handle more than two retail products.

well they made Dante's Inferno while working on Dead Space 2, and Dead Space: Extraction on Wii(co-developed with Eurocom?) same year as The Godfather II.
 
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