Holiday 2008 was rough for Electronic Arts. Major new titles didn't meet expectations, and the shortfalls were a precursor to widespread layoffs and studio closures. Even into the June quarter, EA is still wrapping up staff reductions, as the number of overall employees slimmed from 9,106 employees to 8,948 quarter-on-quarter.
EA CEO John Riccitiello doesn't want to repeat the same mistakes this holiday. He noted in an earnings call on Tuesday, "It was a very difficult retail environment [in 2008]", and EA released new properties "right on top of some very strong competitive launches." He added that he was "less than pleased" with EA's marketing during holiday 2008.