EA: We Put Need For Speed Studio on 'Death March'

Candid comments from CEO on the state of the racing series.

Posted by Staff
EA: We Put Need For Speed Studio on 'Death March'
Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello has spoken more about the issues that surrounded the Need For Speed series, revealing that it was the publisher's own fault for overworking one of its studios.

EA has already admitted to its 'deterioration' of the pursuit racer back in January, when European Sales VP Jens Uwe Intat said that the series had turned a corner. Riccitiello's comments, made at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2010 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference, tell a story of how the company treated Black Box between 2004-2007.

"In [that] period, we had a single studio, Black Box, up in Vancouver, building our [NFS games]. And we literally had them on a death march building for five years in a row. [They were] annual iterations, they had to put it out; no rest for the weary," Riccitiello said.

"It'd happened before - games publishers do this from time to time. We should have put them on two-year alternating cycles but we didn't. And the title declined dramatically. We started to lose people. they didn't want to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

"It was definitely our fault. Those days are gone. We're back in two studios and we've got them on bi-annual cycles. We made really great progress... with a strong entry last year, which was more of a simulation game."

The executive added that he "feels great" about the two-studio arrangement now and has high hopes for the performance of EAs upcoming Hot Pursuit, developed by Criterion. Sounds like EA really has moved on from its 'Dark Side Empire' days.

Source: CVG


Tone 22 Sep 2010 00:15
EA moves out of this position to make way for activion
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