EA CEO John Riccitiello Is Stepping Down

john_riccitiello

Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello has announced today that he is stepping down as chief executive officer of the company. Riccitiello will be temporarily replaced on March 30th by former EA president and CEO Larry Probst, who will step in as EA’s executive chairman. Probst will remain chairman of EA until a suitable candidate is found. Here’s what Riccitiello had to say about his departure from the long-running company.

“My decision to leave EA is really all about my accountability for the shortcomings in our financial results this year,” he said. “It currently looks like we will come in at the low end of, or slightly below, the financial guidance we issued to the Street, and we have fallen short of the internal operating plan we set one year ago. And for that, I am 100 percent accountable.”

“EA is an outstanding company with creative and talented employees, and it has been an honor to serve as the Company’s CEO. I am proud of what we have accomplished together, and after six years I feel it is the right time for me pass the baton and let new leadership take the Company into its next phase of innovation and growth. I remain very optimistic about EA’s future — there is a world class team driving the Company’s transition to the next generation of game consoles.”

Thanks to everyone that sent this in.

136 thoughts on “EA CEO John Riccitiello Is Stepping Down”

          1. Oh yes.. I would much rather have Watch_Dogs over that platformer any day. It was a poor decision in my opinion, but I’m willing to live with that given their support for Wii U.

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      1. The ubi CO is good and generous to Nintendo, is the only company who assists nintendo in this hard times and gives it credit…

        Imagine wii U by now, witout zombie U, ac3, rabits, AC4, Watchdogs and raynman (Even if it delayed)… Imagine a CO likes EAs..

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        1. Believe me: Ubisoft have never – ever – done anything as charity. They are businessmen, and at some point they realized that heading those games for Wii U could allow them to make some further profit.

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      1. Hard to believe, since now we have just one piece less in the puzzle. I mean, things don’t change that easily. But time will tell.

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        1. Well, actually a new person right up top could change all that. The company I work for has just changed a CEO semi recently in a very similar way as what seems to have happened with EA and we have been having loads of changes because of it. However it probably won’t until they have the new CEO, one of the things might be trying to renew ties with Nintendo or trying to go back to proper games without micro transactions. Will be intersting to see what happens.

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    1. What’s wrong with how EA handles things? People so often forget that the video game business is actually a business, people are tying to make money. And most of EA’s decisions make very good business sense.

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      1. RE: Guy

        We all understand that they are in business to make money but if you mean implementing always on DRM, charging their customers more and more money for micro-transactions, releasing shoddy games, and trying to dictate to the console gaming world as well as the PC gaming world what the makers of those consoles can and cannot do good business sense then I have to disagree to you.

        To be successful in the gaming industry you have to only achieve a few goals. Make fun games to play, put out new innovative ways to play those games, and keep the gamers happy. Do that and the gamers will line up to buy such games. There is a reason that EA was voted the worst company in 2012 and it is because of their greedy business decisions that looked like on paper would make more money but in the end pissed off the gamers.

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        1. Yeah, just look at Valve. They aren’t successful from just business decisions, they actually know a thing or two about respect.

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      2. No, no they don’t make sense. Everything they do is a way of trying to squeeze every last penny out a consumer. Is that good business? YEA! In theory. In practice this capitalistic bullshit does not fair well with consumers at all. In theory if you up the price of something surely you will make more money yes? No, because you fail to see the many other factors. With every decision EA fail to see that they continually push consumers away. Pre planning micro transactional content while a game is in development is shoddy. You should be aiming to give consumers all you can come a release day for the price of 1 game. They are unfair. It’s all about the dollar with EA. I hope their new CEO will change this and become more consumer friendly.

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      3. In short term, yes. The problem is that EA has lived on a good name for pretty long now and being able to sell everything. But now the magic of the company name is starting to fade away. EA has done stuff that overall is very bad for the industry and that will kill them in the long run as gamers will start to despice them more and more.

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      4. If that were true then they wouldn’t be going through this turmoil. They would have planned better for this slump in the industry.

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    1. TTTHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS^ , hopefully some nice , none butthurt , pro Nintendo guy steps in :D

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            1. But what do you mean by “practices of ignoring Nintendo like every self-respecting games company”? I take this statement with a billion-ton of salt. I feel you pushed too hard this time.

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                1. No wonder Crysis 3 is a hit, it didnt come to Wii U.
                  If I could get a refund for crappy games, Dead Space 3 would be so gone.
                  They have managed to destroy every EA franchise I respected.

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    1. Why should EA apologize to Nintendo? They were one of the publishers that actually brought a major game to the Wii U, and I really wonder if ME3 on the Wii U even sold well enough to make a profit.

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        1. Yes, you, this guy, and the rest of this damn ignorant internet should start justifying why you all hate EA so much with facts. No one outside of our industry respects its patrons because most of us behave like children and have the subconscious liberal bias that it’s somehow implicitly evil if a company prioritizes earning a profit.

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          1. Where did I say I hate EA? The backlash against EA for what they have done has been explained ad-nausea with facts. Just because you don’t agree or refuse to accept them as factual doesn’t mean that they aren’t facts.

            I or anyone else could run down the list of reasons to which you no doubt would make a excuse for each and every reason why it is ‘okay’ for EA to do that. So what’s the point?

            I’m not sure the point you are trying to make is even relevant to the situation between EA and Nintendo at all. Their anger towards Nintendo for being put on blast for trying to pull a fast one is all self-induced. If they wanted Nintendo Network to be a part of Origin they should have made that as a prerequisite of the deal at the beginning. It’s only something companies have done for over a century you know. If you want something done, put it in the contract. They tried to be slick about it and feel that since we helped you develop your online system, you should let us absorb it into our network infrastructure. A move the benefits NO ONE but EA. Nintendo has not existed for over 100 years and in the gaming industry for over 40 years by being stupid.

            For one, Origin is a HORRIBLE network. Think about all the whining people do and have done about the few problems the Wii U has now. Add to that the constant issues of Origin. Then you run the risk of alienating other 3rd parties. Why would Activision or Ubisoft want to run their online Wii U games on a network of a competitor? EA would be making money off of the thousands of people playing COD online. That makes no sense all. That would put Nintendo in a WORSE situation with 3rd party developers than the are right now. What benefit would this be to Nintendo again?

            Seriously. EA has cancelled DLC packs for the few games they have on the Wii U, they have cancelled games that were ready to go gold for the Wii U, and they have cut future releases in half. It’s not even a guarantee that Madden will be on the Wii U this year.

            I don’t advocate hate for any reason, but there is a preponderance of data to prove why people do have hatred towards EA and I barely scratched the surface.

            The point is, there is NO DEFENSE for EA in this particular situation. They tried to run game on Nintendo and they wound up playing themselves. At least the CEO of this company is man enough to admit that EA has made major mistakes and he is taking full responsibility for it. I can definitely give him props for doing that. It is not easy begin a CEO of a major conglomeration.

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      1. @Jacob.. You must have been sleeping for a while. Sure they brought a couple sports games and Need For Speed to the Wii U but EA wanted Origin to power Nintendo’s network and Nintendo said no. As a result of that I believe they canceled other games for Nintendo even ones that were pretty much confirmed to be finished already like Crysis just to spite Nintendo. EA has become a bully in the gaming industry that lived a good life based on it’s reputation of the way past but now their new business model of scraping every penny out of their customers and dictating to the gaming platforms what they can and cannot do has caught up with them.

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        1. I have to wonder if everything you just said about that is backed with facts or some random article/meme about a rumor (hey derp, if they loved money so much, they wouldn’t withhold a game from the wii u out of childish spite if it stood to earn a profit). Even if that was true, who cares? They aren’t obligated to publish on any particular platform if they don’t want to. And people shouldn’t be allowed to comment about business without taking an economics course: EA HAS AN OBLIGATION TO THEIR EMPLOYEES AND SHAREHOLDERS TO TRY AND SCRAPE EVERY PENNY THEY CAN OUT OF THEIR CUSTOMERS.

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          1. Jacob,

            Do a little searching and you will see that the developer of Crysis said themselves that the game was completed and working on the Wii U and you can also search and find plenty of evidence that EA wanted Origin to power the Nintendo Network.

            As far as your comment about scraping every penny out of consumers I sure hope you never run business because making money is very important but customer relations is what keeps you making money in the long run. No one is saying they should lose money but they have been in decline for a while and it is mostly because of their poor customer relations hence the voting by consumers as EA being the worst company of 2012. That is also fact BTW

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          1. True, but Sega couldn’t weather that storm…they were already in deep financial shit. Nintendo can just shrug it’s shoulders and move on. They could lose a few hundred million a year and still be around for 40 years and considering the line up for the Wii U for the rest of the year, that isn’t going to happen for a while. Even if the Wii U “fails” (which no one can seem to provide a definition of what failing is), they will profit off of it.

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  1. I’m no fan of Riccitiello, but for the love of Mike, would it be so wrong to actually blame the actual people responsible?

    I’m sick and tired of seeing the board room escape censure for the failings of the company, when its their mandates that continue to drive this industry further and further towards mediocrity.

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    1. Bravo sir! For asking people to hole the accountable ones accountable! I’m sure any severance deal ricci gets will more than make up for any slight loss of funds due to being absent from this CEO position. You know the board isn’t going to take the fall but will pay well for a scape goat! Glad he’s gone though.

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    1. Yeah , it is. EA and Nintendo have a lot of news associated with each other , and this guy is (partly) responsible for Nintendo and EA’s obvious fallout since e3 2011.

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      1. Iwata never said he would step down. It was shitty journalist from sites like Nintendo Life who twisted it into that to start drama to get hits.

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    1. Really?

      DS, Wii & 3DS all released during Iwatas time as CEO, and he should step down? I understand they had their first ever loss during his time too, but seriously, under his tenure, they’ve released the 2 most popular systems Nintendo has ever had, with the 3DS also now looking extremely promising.

      Compared to the mountain of clusterfucks that have happened at EA under Riccitiello.

      Not saying Iwata is perfect or great or anything. But 1 loss during a monster of a recession and a slow start for their new console is hardly grounds to be stepping down.

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    2. Why don’t you talk trash about the CEOs of Nintendo AFTER you know what they go through. Pay cuts AND admitting the company lost money on their part. It isn’t easy. Also, you are making assumptions. Nintedo has very respectable CEOs.

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    3. One slow start for a console thats only been out a little over 4 months, following the massive success of the DS, Wii, and now the 3DS, as well as getting one of the best customer satisfaction/support ratings in consumer electronics. Yet he should step down?

      I’m guessing you are either really off your nut, or you just read headlines.

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    4. Yeah. It’s not like the 3DS was too expensive and they lowered the price. It’s not like that the 3DS lacked a second circle-pad and Nintendo made an attachment later on. It’s not like the 3DS screen was too small and they came out with a larger-screen 3DS. It’s not like that the 3DS lacked games and Nintendo ramped up production of 3DS games. It’s not like the Wii U had OS issues and Nintendo will be issuing two major updates to fix them. It’s not like Saturo Iwata has publicly apologized repeatedly to investors for net-losses. It’s not like the CEo of Nintendo Saturo Iwata cut his salary in HALF because of net losses. It’s not like Saturo Iwata came out on the January 23rd Nintendo Direct and apologized to the FANS for the lack of 1st party Wii U games, explained why there was a drought, and then announced a line-up of games which includes a probably Super Mario Galaxy 3, Mario Kart U, Windwaker HD, and a full HD Zelda game.

      Yeah…….Nintendo NEVER apologizes for their mistakes and most certainly never corrects them. o_O

      I know your post was meant to be troll-bait but every now and again I’ll bite just because I’m hard-headed. :)

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    5. When the 3DS sold miserably in 2011, Iwata cut his pay by 50%. Reggie and Miyamoto cut theirs by 30%. Were you in a trance this whole time lol? Nintendo management stays humble.

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    6. Dude, you do realize that the Nintendo CEO said if this years results aren’t satisfactory he will likely step down eh? As opposed this this instance with EA’s CEO, where there was no prior notice which likely means it was a forced step down (fired).

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  2. Is it just me, or is he basically say:
    “Yeah our software sales are going down the Shitter so Larry Probst & the rest of these fuckers are going to Deal with it now.” lol (I might of misinterpreted it, but who cares). :P

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  3. Let me gets this right…. LET ME REALLLY GET THIS RIGHT. Sony and Microsoft fanboys been bitching about Nintnedo not having this hardcore game or that hardcore game making it seem as if hardcore is the best thing in the world, and not enough of those Microsoft/Sony fanboys is buying their shit? Let me get this straight even more. Microsoft/Sony fans been saying Nintendo is Doomed because of Wii U sales low for it’s first three months? Yet one of there 3rd party games is finaically struggling? I haven’t heard about Nintendo laying off anyone.

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  4. So now this answered my question. The real reason why the Wii U is losing it’s 3rd party support is because many 3rd parties can’t afford to rework it for the Wii U. That would cost them too much money. Yet journalist cover it up in thinking it’s because the Wii U is less powerful than the PS4.

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      1. yes^ Some devs are simply sticking with older(easier) consoles that are still “popular.” Ex:) Xbox 360, PS3. They need to move on to bigger and greater things. Ex:) Wii U.

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        1. And PS4.
          Social options aren’t going to sell the PS4.
          What it needs is great game announcements from all of those partners it’s supposedly got lined up, if it’s going to do well.

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  5. is the one who said wii u is the ultimate platform and them they rasped it all over the globe? Is this guy fault? If so, he deserves to be punished… But I agree, EA turned to be a pooh company on his hands… They even took the POO AWARDS …. 1st poo company

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  6. Very classy of him to take full responsibility for the entire company’s shortcoming. And as expected, this thread is replete with ignorant 12 year olds jumping on the EA hate-wagon.

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  7. Nintendo commander we await you take on this EA move. Let’s nintendo gamers stay humble. EA’s pride has got them here, wish him all the best and better relations with the new and acting CEO.

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  8. Let me get this right even more. EA was the first to assume Wii U is not next generation because it is not powerful like PS4. Yet here EA, who is all about power and graphics, and low on sales. Why don’t EA worry about their sales before dipping there toes in Nintendo’s business.

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    1. Actually THQ was the first to publicly proclaim that the Wii U wasn’t next-gen and was underpowered. Look what happened to them. Not only did they have to publicly retract their statement and look like fools, but the company went out of business. Hating on Nintendo is dangerous! Take note EA!!!

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  9. I’m thinking that EA has ulterior motives in helping Nintendo develop their online system. They ASSUMED that Nintendo would just let EA have control over it so that the some of the profits there-in would go to EA to help out their financial woes. When Nintendo said “no-way” that is when they got upset.

    It is possible that there are people within EA whom do not agree with their ‘Code-Red’ against Nintendo and this could have been his decision alone. Hopefully that is the case and once he gets outta there they can re-establish a relationship with Nintendo. It’s only good for all parties involved. EA is not the juggernaut it used to be and Nintendo would definitely benefit from a stronger relationship with them. Hate is useless. Especially in the business world.

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  10. Let me get this right. “Nintendo is doomed this” and “Nintendo is doomed that” EA has been sucking up to Sony and Microsoft over Nintendo. And EA is the one struggling? But if Hardcore is all that, why can’t Sony and Micrsofot videogames be enough in sales to keep EA in the boat? Another question answered, hardcore gamers is a miority crowd compared to everyone.

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  11. Nintendo haters would say, “Nintendo is doombed” yet I see that once Rare left Nintendo to Microsoft, Rareware died. Now another 3rd party refusing to be with Nintendo trying to control Nintendo and look at EA now. Yet Wii U sales are slow for it’s first three months while Nintendo is all calm yet it’s the 3rd parties, journalist and haters on Nintendo blogs starting up stuff. Yet in reality Nintendo never brought up layoffs or none of that. I just realized for the first time since I owned my Wii U console that power doesn’t bring sales alone but quailty, innovation and different and better ways to play video games.

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    1. Also, 3 of the Metroid Prime devs left Retro (probably just because that’s what happens in western studios….people leave) to form Armature. Armature handled the port of the MGS HD Collection on the Vita….which only sold about 170k globally since 2011 and haven’t done anything since. Can’t forget about Silicon Knights either…they were a 2nd party to Nintendo in the GCN era, producing both Eternal Darkness and MGS: Twin Snakes. After their contract was up, they joined up with MS to create Too Human which bombed and now they are pretty much dead.

      The only company to survive a departure from Nintendo was Sony, but that is because they had the money to do so since they have other avenues to fall back on. They at least took an innovation approach to leaving by creating their own console with a disc based system rather than cartridges which probably helped a lot. But even now they are in massive financial trouble.

      I wonder how Square Enix will fare if the rumor that they are revealing Deus Ex for Wii U as their “surprise” at PAX is true.

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  12. This tool’s exit from the gaming stage has been too long in coming. In 2011, EA tried to essentially take over Nintendo’s online system by basing it on Origin, which would’ve given them unprecedented control over one of the Big Three. Thank Darwin Nintendo woke up and said “no way, Jose!” Origin bites HARD, and the Nintendo Network is MUCH better without EA’s meddling.

    However, EA seems to have sworn revenge, as the Wii U won’t even get Madden. (No big loss in my book, but harsh, nonetheless.) However, this is shooting themselves in their own foot,bas EA’s stock price, unlike the rest of the market’s stock prices, never recovered from the 2008 crash. Factor in the company’s willingness to lie about their DRM, repeatedly, and the reputation they have engendered by buying studios and gutting their quality (I look at Bioware here), and this move becomes LONG overdue. Maybe now they’ll get a CEO who will implement SENSIBLE DRM, microtransactions, and steer away from On-disc DLC. I doubt it, but one can dream.

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  13. Let me really really get this right. So the Wii U is actually going to be a hot seller in the future. Even if EA were to continue making games for the WII u, they know that they wouldn’t use that gamepad to it’s full potential because EA didn’t create it. Also, 3rd party dev know that bringing a game to the Wii U won’t sell as good as bringing games to Sony and Micrsofot because they know Nintendo’s exculusives dominate the console automaticlly. As a result, 3rd party developers don’t want to spend the extra money in R&D developing a game on the gamepad if it can’t beat a Nintendo franchise.
    And that’s why Nintendo has a tough time with 3rd party. Yet 3rd party deveoplers pay journlist to say BS like, “Wii U is last generation to flip the cards around” trying to get consumers to focus only on Sony and Microsoft because that is where their games are and to ignore Nintendo. GOT IT GOT IT GOT IT!!!! The only reason why Wii U sales are down because the WII U is not 100% developed and the Nintendo games have yet to be released. Nintendo will wait for PS4 and 720 to release those 3rd party games agasint Nintendo’s 1st party….may the best console…I mean game(s) win in sales. Pikmin 3, Zelda, Samaus, Mario has to face those 3rd party develpers. They are afraid of Nintendo. Starfox, Mario, Pikmin, Smash Bros, Kirby, Donkey Kong, has to tackle Halo and whatever Sony’s IPs are. That’s reality. So in other words, Nintendo is saying, ” we don’t need power for our exculsives to outsell the market” And that’s why they did not make a souped up powerful Wii U.

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  14. EA Can yall finally put fucking Battlefield 3 and Crysis 3 on the Wii U? Also don’t forget about that Need For Speed U DLC,hope they will reconsider so they can make more of a fucking profit and give us more of the damn shit that they promised us at E3 2011/2012

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  16. Hope they now can start invest in every platform and do some seriously profit. Publishers need to reckon that the market actually is divided in smaller fractions. Yes, some consumers is moving between these fractions, but the majority isn’t and therefore they need to be on all platforms and go all in, so that consumers on that specific platform feels that their games is worth buying.

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  17. Good, the Electron Army needs to be disolved as soon as possible…

    Unless they go back to how they were before they got corrupted…

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  18. man this is good news I loved EA from the SNES days till now and I just hope every console will get the support no matter how much power it has. and I mean BATTLEFIELD 4 on WII U Mother fuckers WHOOOO! YEAHHH!

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