EA CEO: On 'Facebook ... the other guys have lapped us three times'

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The Sims SocialThis isn't exactly a revelation for anyone following the social game space closely. EA (and satellite studios Playfish and PopCap) are in a distant second place on the Facebook games charts. Zynga outpaces the veteran games firm by about 228 million monthly players, according to AppData, and by about 51 million daily players. Cleary, there's catching up to do.

"When it comes to Facebook, while we're number two, I'd say we're a distant number two," EA CEO John Riccitiello admitted to National Public Radio. "I mean the other guys have lapped us three times." (Technically, EA is a distant number three, with about 8,000 fewer monthly players than Wooga, the German team behind Diamond Dash.) Riccitiello revealed that, while EA has lots of work to do, it plans to go about it differently than most social game makers.

"The companies that are focused exclusively on social games think of themselves as data companies, sort of analytics companies," Riccitiello said, likely pointing toward EA's Facebook archenemy Zynga. "They're not really in the entertainment business. I think that will eventually die. Consumers want to be entertained. They don't want to be data-managed."

It will be interesting to see what exactly that means for EA-made Facebook and mobile social games down the road. Will this philosophy lead to inherently different kinds of games from what's been seen from, say, the FarmVille house? With somewhat different games like The Sims Social--and for the sake of the genre moving forward--one can only hope.

Are you surprised to hear EA so candidly admit its place on Facebook? Will this strategy work to combat Zynga? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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