EA CEO Sees Long Road Ahead for Next-Gen Winner

Larry Probst, who will soon be stepping down from his duties as CEO of Electronic Arts, gave his take on the future of gaming during an investor conference. He predicted that the console race would be more evenly matched than last generation’s competition between Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. The conference was conducted by Morgan Stanley, which was reported on by Reuters.

Sony has dominated the home game console market for the past seven years with its PS2, but the PS3 has found much more formidable competition in the Wii and Xbox 360. Probst believes that Sony’s traditional lead in gaming console hardware may not be as easily won as before. "We expect that there will be a more level playing field this time around than last time."

He remarked on the PS3’s pricing structure as the culprit for sluggish sales, stating, "I think the issue is that (the PS3 is) expensive." Probst went on to describe the shock and bewilderment of the press at Sony’s E3 press conference when it was announced that the high-end PS3 would cost $600. But despite the disadvantage of being the most costly game console on the market, he believes that Sony is far from being counted out in the quest for next-gen leadership. "No one should count Sony out at this point in the game. This is going to be a long race."

The long race Probst is referring may describe EA’s future, as well. The world’s largest third party game publisher has been criticized by the gaming community for being a stodgy, stagnant institution which cranks out the same old titles year after year, while producing little in the way of original content. With the likes of Ubisoft, LucasArts and other game companies trying to take market share away from EA, Electronic Arts can ill afford to rest on its laurels.

After all, no one thought Sony could be seriously challenged, either. But this has, no doubt, found its way onto the minds of EA executives, and has to be a concern for the company.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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