Matt Vella reports for Business Week on October 29, 2007, on Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello's effort to transform the company from from an entertainment monolith, which had been overly dependent on licensed games such as Harry Potter and Madden NFL, into a maker of innovative titles. NPD data reveals that EA's sport titles are showing signs of weakening sales, and EA is embracing innovation to guard against the downturn.
The report focuses on EA's $860 million purchase of BioWare and Pandemic studios, and how the acquisition could help jump-start EA's transformation. Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter and Bank of America analyst Michael Savner discuss the cost and potential benefits of acquiring BioWare/Pandemic for EA.
Frank Gibeau, president of EA's Games Label, says an asset of BioWare is the innovative dialogue system in Mass Effect. Gibeau envisions a situation in which all EA studios are developing and sharing technology like BioWare dialogue system between themselves.
The article also briefly discusses fan reactions to EA's acquisition of BioWare/Pandemic, for which Gibeau responds: "We treat our studios like city-states. They'll have their own independence, though we encourage collaboration."