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News
 Written by Patrick Mulhern  on February 12, 2008

News: CEO John Riccitiello admits that "We at EA blew it."



John Riccitiello, CEO of Electronic Arts and speaker at this years DICE Summit in Las Vegas spoke about his company's acquisitions as part of his keynote. He admitted that his company had failed integrating many of its earlier acquisitions and even named names such as Bullfrog Productions and Westwood Studios, as examples.

Bullfrog was purchased by EA in 1995 and just two years later Peter Molyneux left the company he co-founded to start Lionhead Studios, inviting Bullfrog staffers to join him at his new studio. After almost three years without releasing a title with its name on it Bullfrog was finally closed and absorbed into EA UK in 2004.

EA purchased veteran RTS developer Westwood Studios in August 1998, just a year after Bullfrog lost much of its staff to Lionhead. The brand remained alive under EA for years, despite losing numerous employees, until 2003 with the MMORPG Earth & Beyond being the storied developer's last product.



"We at EA blew it, and to a degree I was involved in these things, so I blew it," Riccitiello admitted.

"The command and conquer model doesn't work," Riccitiello told industry experts at the summit. "If you think you're going to buy a developer and put your name on the label... you're making a profound mistake."

Riccitiello stated what he believed killed the companies was too much parenting: "when I talked to the creators that populated these companies at the time, they felt like they were buried and stifled." The head of EA also commented on the state of BioWare/Pandemic's company culture, explaining that EA plans on letting the company manage themselves as much as possible.

source: Bit-Tech



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