"I would say without hesitation that our quality is going to be up this year versus the prior year," Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello said in a Tuesday earnings call.
Riccitiello has made it a very public priority to up the quality of EA's titles. A recent review score average of EA's titles was 77 percent, but Riccitiello said at an analyst meeting in February that he wants EA to exceed 80 percent by fiscal 2011.
He reiterated the intended focus on quality during an earnings call Tuesday. "I would say without hesitation that our quality is going to be up this year versus the prior year. I would say without hesitation that our ship timing is going to be improved versus the prior year," he predicted.
But chasing higher quality may cause sacrifices in another important area: timeliness. "If I had to tell you which will give, ship time will give before quality," he said. "We're making big improvements on timeliness, but there's still more work to do."
Games on the slate for fiscal 2009 include games from typically well-reviewed game makers (and recent EA acquisitions) Pandemic and Bioware. Pandemic has Mercenaries 2 and Saboteur in the pipeline, while BioWare has the RPG Dragon Age in the works.
Other promising titles from EA include Mirror's Edge from DICE and Spore from Maxis.
May 14, 2008