There was a time when Electronic Arts (NSDQ: ERTS) was the game-company stock to own-with the most cutting-edge games and tons of cash on the books. But over the past few years, it has lost much of that luster. EA posted a $120 million loss for the most recent quarter-its fourth consecutive quarter in the red-and has laid off about 1,100 employees in the process.
While some analysts argue that now more than ever EA needs to focus on what it does best-retail sales-the company is instead testing out a bunch of new and unproven distribution channels (like digital downloads) and business models (like micro-transactions). In an interview with paidContent, COO John Pleasants says EA's emerging digital strategy, which includes social gaming, virtual goods and even distributing games via OnLive, will get the company back in the black.