In one of the shortest speeches I’ve seen delivered at a major gaming event, EA CEO John Riccitiello just delivered a brisk under-15-minute presentation that points to sequels being EA’s focus of 2009.EA CEO John Riccitiello’s quick DICE speech rapidly covered the following: how game companies should deal with the crumbling economy (don’t get “smaller,” get “leaner” and “stronger”), how sequels can be innovative (shout-out from him for “Dead Space Extraction” and “Spore” spin-offs, including Wii), and a mention of a new “Alice” game from American McGee. He didn’t explain how or why EA sequels can and will be innovative, but he reminded his audience that Goldfinger, The Empire Strikes Back, and “Halo 3″ are all really good.
Here’s the key takeaway: Last year’s Riccitiello DICE speech covered the idea of developer independence within EA, using a nation-states metaphor. Shortly thereafter, EA made its bid for Take-Two, casting Riccitiello’s DICE speech, in retrospect, as a tool for sending a message to Take-Two’s development studios like Rockstar Games and Firaxis which may have been leery of absorption by EA.
If this year’s Riccitiello speech is also going to be a tone-setter, then expect this to be a year of (hopefully innovative) sequels from EA.
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