What Is Wrong With Electronic Arts

What Is Wrong With Electronic Arts

I am a video game enthusiast and I know quality games from the majority of poor ones that are released. Electronic Arts has put out a lot of high quality games this past year: Mass Effect 3 (the whole ending controversy aside), Madden 13 (the most innovative iteration in years), Tiger Woods 13 and the more recent Fifa 13. Sure, EA has had some duds this year as well, Medal of Honor Warfighter was downright terrible, but which major game publisher hasn’t bombed out at least once a year?

With brand name, marquee franchises like Crysis, Battlefield, The Sims, Madden, Need for Speed, Fifa and Mass Effect (most of which are capable of churning out releases annually) one could think EA is in prime position to lead the video game sector. The problem is I’ve been thinking that for years now and it just never happens.

2012 was without a doubt a terrible year for the video game giant. The company sank over $100 million into a bungled Star Wars online multiplayer game that produced lackluster subscriber growth and soon went free to play, it managed to upset its consumer base at almost every turn (including skimping out on a proper ending for the much beloved Mass Effect series) and it won the dubious award of ‘worst company in America’ from voters at The Consumerist, EA wrestled the title away from Bank of America. As bad as the news was for Electronic Arts in 2012, the stock’s performance was even worse. Take a look at the following one year chart of EA’s stock price, courtesy of Yahoo! Finance:

(click to enlarge)

EA is down over 30% in the past year alone and is no where close to its all time highs set back in the mid 2000’s, currently off more than 70%. The company has also managed zero equity growth over the last five years and almost zero Return on Capital growth. For the year ending March 2013, the average analyst estimate is for $4.1 billion in revenue, which is slightly lower than last year’s $4.14 billion. To top it off, both liabilities and debt are increasing quickly.

So, I ask again, what is going on?

Clearly, management has a part to play in such pathetic results. They have proven themselves unable to guide this company in the right direction. Current CEO John Riccitiello has been the subject of many rumors for dismissal but so far has managed to keep his job despite his company’s terrible performance. Peter Moore is thought to be his future replacement.

The disturbing slowdown in overall video game sales is a leading factor as well. Sales of games have dropped dramatically over the last year. But the real reason could be that of the impending console update. If you take a look at the sale figures for each major console for the year 2012 compared to the same time period for 2011, the results are not good: the Xbox 360 sold about 2.6 million fewer consoles, the Playstation 3 sold about 2 million fewer consoles and the Wii sold about 4 million fewer, which is a drop of over 50%. The Wii system’s dramatic drop can be partly attributed to the release of the new Nintendo WiiU system, but that still sold only about 800,000 units.

With most rumors suggesting a 2013 release for at least one of the big next generation systems, Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s Playstation, gamers have simply not been buying new consoles like they used to. Less consoles being bought equals less games being bought, that’s a simple correlation. This slowdown in big hardware has no doubt affected games sales negatively over the last year.

But don’t take my word for it, take the word of Yves Guillemot, CEO and co founder of video game giant Ubisoft. He recently told Polygon, “We need new consoles. At the end of the cycle generally the market goes down because there are less new IPs, new properties, so that damaged the industry a little bit. I hope next time they will come more often.” Check out Polygon’s full article here.

So, are Microsoft and Sony partly to blame for EA’s struggles, and those of all other video game publishers as of late? I’d say they definitely aren’t helping too much. It is obvious that EA is suffering through a downturn in the market in which they operate but any good management team has to have a plan to overcome such difficulties. With the new console generation fast approaching, I am curious to see what EA has in store for both consumers and investors.

FIFA 11 skills

FIFA 11 skills

It the final half, you in extra time, and time is running out, you got to defend hard enough to score this win. Unfortunately, in the last few seconds of the game the other team scores a goal and ties everything up, sending everything into penalties. Taking penalty kicks in FIFA 11 takes some skill, but understanding the basics of it can at least help you grasp the concept and get you where you need to go! In this video you will get the basics of how to take penalty kicks and what some of the user interface options mean and what they do.

In this video tutorial, viewers learn how to perform different soccer skills in the game FIFA 10, part of Electronic Arts series of football games. The video shows a variety of different skills to perform followed by a controller that reveals the button sequence. The skills in this video are taught on the XBox 360 version of the game. The moves in this video include: ball roll fake, TATW (juggling), drag back fake, ball roll heel chop, first time flick, fake shot and bridge. This video will benefit those viewers who play FIFA 10 and would like to learn how to perform the skills in the game.

A Tutorial for FIFA 07

A Tutorial for FIFA 07

FIFA 07 Soccer is a very successful game from Electronic Arts that was released in October of 2006 for the PC, Playstation 2, Xbox and Xbox 360. The game was a follow up to the 2006 edition and altered some of the in game physics to make the players move and play more realistically. There is also a momentum meter that swings back and forth between the two teams as the game goes on that can affect the gameplay. FIFA 07 was very well received and can be played easily, though the controls take some time to get used to if you haven’t played earlier incarnations of the series.

Use the left stick of your gamepad to control your player and run around the field. (If you’re playing on a computer keyboard, you can adjust your control scheme however you like.) Holding the right trigger on the Xbox 360 will enable you to run and control your pace once you are in motion. Stop the ball while in motion by releasing the left stick and pulling the right trigger. If you wish to face the goal while doing this, hit the left bumper button. Tricks can be performed by manipulating the left stick while you have the ball in your possession.