EA CEO steps down, stock tanks

“Shares of Electronic Arts tumbled Tuesday after the video game publisher said CEO John Riccitiello will step down later this month, raising concerns about the company’s digital strategy,” Ben Rooney reports for CNN Money. “EA (EA) stock was down 8% in late morning trading.”

“Riccitiello’s decision to step down comes weeks after EA launched an updated version of its 23-year old city-building game, SimCity. More than 1 million games were sold at launch, and more than half of those sales were for the digital version,” Rooney reports. “But SimCity’s debut was marred by technical difficulties, including problems downloading the game because demand overwhelmed EA’s servers. After enduring the wrath of angry gamers, EA said it would give certain users a free game to make up for the glitch.”

Rooney reports, “The episode highlighted concerns about EA’s ability to adapt to changing trends in the industry as consumers increasingly favor games that can be downloaded on portable devices made by companies such as Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Sounds like they needed more billion dollar server farms that day. Server farms are not a problem for Apple. They are building them and already have several that we already know about.

    These are the locations I have already read about:
    • California
    • North Carolina
    • Hong Kong
    • Oregon
    • Nevada

    I am sure there are more on other continents that do not have open records about land purchases and building permits. No one wants to openly research this yet. But, with many billion sitting in the bank and nothing that Apple wants to talk about that they are using the money for. I am sure we will find them some day. Analysts will not find them. I am talking about hikers, shepherds, people lost in 3rd world countries, … You know, regular people, minding their own business. Not PEOPLE THAT SHOULD KNOW OR DO THIS STUFF FOR A LIVING!

    1. Why, exactly, do you think that people should know? Did someone quietly introduce a global law stating that every nosy asshole with an entitlement complex should automatically be given the intimate details of everything that companies like Apple are doing?
      Do tell, we have a right to know…

  2. The problem with SimCity is that to play it gamer’s must constantly be connected to the game server. If the server is busy, or a glitch occurs–no game. There isn’t even an option to play by off-line on your own computer. So they forced that “vision” on gamers. Then they made the city plots small so no one city can be self supporting. They’ve forced gamers to collaborate in regions where up to 16 individuals can build small interdependent cities. So they’ve forced their ‘vision’ of turning one of the most popular, loved games of all time into a social media experiment. Fine as additional options, but not okay that online-only is the only way to play the game. If they had added the social media part as an optional online mode and allowed for single play, off-line games I would lay down my $60. As is I’ll pass on this version.

    1. One would think that executives would have learned from Blizzard’s mistake. But this has nothing to do with providing the best customer experience, and everything to do with protecting against piracy which, as much as we may hate to say it, this type of thing does. And despite the train wreck launches, both Diablo 3 and SimCity have sold tons of copies….or should I say licenses, since this type of sale really is.

  3. GregB, you’re absolutely correct.

    This “vision” is flawed.
    Even for a single player game, they want players constantly connected. This doesn’t sit well with many long-time gamers.
    Or to have to buy online license to a used game in order to play it.

  4. To bring it closer to home, take a look at how EA ruined Scrabble on iOS. The latest version was recast as a thinly veiled version of Words with Friends and loaded it up with cheesy graphics, tied it to Facebook and Twitter and deleted features that were popular with existing customers.

    They took a well regarded paid app and replaced it with a cheap Free app and the paid version removes ads.

    Take a look at the reviews of the latest version- they are overwhelmingly negative.

  5. Perhaps I will be assailed for not being sufficiently *enlightened* (I use my Mac to design devices at a medical equipment manufacturer and can keep myself plenty busy making an actual living), but this article seems overly tangential for a Mac-news site.

    MDN could also skip any news of high-level turnover at Nintendo and Mattel (they latter makes toys that connect to Macs) and all would be fine in Mac-land, in my opinion.

  6. I have not gamed on a PC in years and I was just about to pull the trigger on this game when a friend of mine called to tell me his new copy of the game would simply return a connection error when he tried to play it.

    They borked this one good.

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