EA

Chris Nuttall

John Riccitiello made a final public appearance as chief executive of Electronic Arts at the unveiling of Battlefield 4 at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week.

He steps down on Saturday, resigning, according to the official account, over the company missing its numbers for the current fiscal year ending March 31.

The poor performance of another first-person shooter, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, last autumn contributed to this, but Mr Riccitiello’s green-lighting of Battlefield 4 could give his successor an easier ride this coming year. Read more

Chris Nuttall

It’s nice to see social gaming companies being sociable with one another – employees of Wooga, the third largest on Facebook, were mingling happily at Zynga’s headquarters on Wednesday night during its Happy Hour as part of the 2012 Game Developers Conference, being held here in San Francisco this week.

Mark Pincus, Zynga chief executive, held an off-the-record dinner with we the media in another part of this rented building, which Zynga said on Monday it would now buy for $228m. I had on-the-record chats with Zynga’s three closest rivals Electronic Arts, Wooga and King.com on the fringes of GDC, with King.com’s CEO revealing its plans to join Zynga in going public. Highlights from those conversations after the jump. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Two trends clear in Facebook’s IPO filing on Wednesday were the inexorable rise in importance of digital-based gaming revenues and the growth in mobile – we learned Zynga was a key revenue-generator for Facebook and half of Facebook’s members were now users of its mobile products .

Earnings and data from Electronic Arts, THQ and Japan’s Gree over the past 24 hours further emphasise that the old order of disc-based console gaming will have a declining share of consumers’ attention, as consoles become more general entertainment boxes and smartphones and tablets proliferate. Read more

Chris Nuttall

A bit of a shooting match is shaping up in the video game business for later this year as Electronic Arts continues to sound bullish about Battlefield 3, a title that will take on Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 during the holiday season. EA said during its earnings announcement on Tuesday that preorders for the title were 10 times that of its predecessor, Battlefield Bad Company 2, which has sold more than 9m units to date. Read more

Chris Nuttall

The video game industry has simultaneously tried to neutralise and amplify criticism of its skills in creating addictive violent games these past few days. The Entertainment Software Association launched a pre-emptive strike against a new study suggesting games contributed to depression, while Electronic Arts revealed how it had tried to shock 200 mums into condemning its violent sequel Dead Space 2. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Ubisoft released a version of its hit video game Assassin ‘s Creed on Facebook on Thursday as part of a new digital strategy it calls companion gaming.

It looks a more joined-up concept than that of Electronic Arts, which was the first major publisher to bring a big franchise to Facebook with its Fifa Superstars soccer game in June. Read more

Chris Nuttall

The Kindle is finally being taken a little more seriously as a games platform with Electronic Arts releasing a version of Scrabble for the eReader on Friday.

To date, there had been few diversions from the act of reading on the Kindle and its capabilities as a games platform, with its grayscale screen and lack of touch control, seemed limited. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Sales for the video game industry are becoming as bloody and horrific as their best-selling titles.

“The August sales results were, in a word, shocking,” said Wedbush Morgan analysts in a research note on Friday. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Shares in Electronic Arts fell nearly 6 per cent on Wednesday after the video game publisher issued a cautious outlook for its current fiscal year.

Investors seemed to overlook the fact that it is trying to manage expectations with more conservative estimates these days and that its digital business appears to be taking off. Read more

Chris Nuttall

There are new beginnings for both Tiger Woods and Electronic Arts this week as he tees off at the Masters today and EA tries a radical reworking of its strategy for PC sports games.

The free-to-play Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online just launched represents the first EA PC sports title to be moved online. The rest may follow in short order as EA abandons physical media, says Peter Moore, EA Sports president. His thoughts on piracy, virtual goods and the trials of Tiger after the jump: Read more