EA hits billion-dollar digital target
Electronic Arts has achieved its long-standing goal of making a billion dollars (£652 million) a year in digital revenue.
The milestone was revealed in an internal memo leaked to Kotaku, in which CEO John Riccitiello also announces a reshuffle of its management team and the departure of a senior executive.
"In the past year, EA evolved dramatically," he writes. "We're more digital, more efficient, and more competitive in social and casual games.
"One year ago, we set a stretch goal to grow our digital business to $1 billion annually. I'm proud to say that we achieved that goal in calendar year 2011. Crossing the $1 billion threshold is an incredibly important milestone – congratulations!"
It should be noted, however, that getting to a billion dollars in revenue has likely cost EA substantially more than that. The acquisition last July of PopCap set the publisher back an initial $750 million – which could rise to $1.3 billion over the next 18 months if earnings targets are met. Similarly, the launch of Steam rival EA Origin will not have come cheap.
Riccitiello goes on to outline restructuring, which he says has been guided by a new mantra: "Everyone and everything is digital." Chief operating officer Peter Moore will, in addition to his current remit which spans publishing, global media solutions and EA Origin, head up the new "customer experience group."
Kristian Segerstrale, who has been with the company since the 2009 acquisition of Playfish, the London-based social game developer which he founded, is "assembling a team for an expansive remit to define and manage the business side of the EA platform … Their key objective is to build a consistently awesome experience for our customers."
Riccitiello also confirms the departure of Barry Cottle, who was an instrumental figure in the acquisitions of PopCap, Firemint and Chillingo, all of which were key in EA crossing the billion-dollar mark. Cottle follows the likes of John Schappert, Steven Chiang, Mark Skaggs and Bing Gordon in moving across to social game titan Zynga.