EA CEO: High-level losses were more about the Benjamins than issues
Zynga offered former EA executives mo' money, like, way mo' money. EA CEO John Riccitiello commented on the publisher's numerous losses to competitor Zynga during the recent Wedbush Technology Media and Telecommunications Conference. Riccitiello chalked up the poached senior-level staffers to massive offers rather than internal issues at EA.
"To a person, they came and saw me at one point in the process, usually in tears or close to tears, with a story that basically goes like this," Riccitiello said, according to Gamasutra, "'I love my company. I love Electronic Arts. I bleed blue, but they're going to give me a bank account in the first 12 or 24 months that I couldn't get anywhere and may never get anywhere for the rest of my life.'"
That would be reason enough to leave one of the biggest publishers in the game biz. And if you ask Riccitiello, everything's peachy-keen. "So it was more about personal balance sheet stuff. To a person, they've told me – and I think if you speak to them, would probably say they believe in the Electronic Arts story and sort of where it's going," Riccitiello said, Gamasutra reports. "So I don't feel at all weakened by it. ... They got some good guys, and I think we're fine."
In addition to COO John Schappert and EVP of EAi Barry Cottle, the publisher has lost several staff involved in the design of its games, including NBA Jam creator Mark Turmell to and former Playfish GM John Earner to a venture capital firm. It's not to wonder whether the worst is over for EA: Even CCO Richard Hilleman likened Zynga to an "EA satellite operation."
Is there more to EA's poached employees than big-time offers? How will or should the publisher continue to compete with Zynga? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.