EA: We'll Be Top Third-Party For Wii, DS

Talking following the Electronic Arts financial results announced earlier today, company execs revealed the company's goal to be the top third-party Nintendo Wii and DS publisher, a
Talking in the conference call following the Electronic Arts financial results announced earlier today, company execs revealed EA's plans going forward, with Larry Probst, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer commenting, "Our priorities are clear regarding next-gen leadership, including the Nintendo platforms.” Looking toward EA's increased support for Nintendo's hardware, the executive added: “On the Nintendo platforms, we think that we can be a very strong number two. Clearly Nintendo will always be number one on the Wii and Nintendo DS, but we think we have a realistic goal of being number two, with a market share goal of 15-20 percent.” Regarding both the Wii and Nintendo DS, Electronic Arts noted that the company has 15 SKUs in development for both platforms, including several original IP offerings. Confirmed titles in development for Nintendo platforms include My Sims for both the DS and Wii, Sim City, as well as official confirmation of a Nintendo DS version for Will Wright's highly anticipated Spore. The company also noted plans to bring several titles from the company's sports catalog to both the Wii and Nintendo DS. “We believe that EA Sports,” commented EA CFO Warren Jenson, “coupled with the right content, can win on both platforms.” When questioned on the company's strategy in increasing support for the Wii and DS, and if this would come at the expense of resources devoted to other platforms, Probst responded, “The support for the Wii and NDS is is not at the expense of other platforms that we deem strategic, and you will continue to see us maintaining a strategic position on all platforms.” Much of this added focus, as noted by EA officials during the call, has come thanks to the recent acquisition of Utah-based Headgate Studios (Tiger Woods PGA Tour, Madden NFL SKUs) in December 2006. “The acquisition of Headgate will give us some additional development capacity for the Wii, and we are devoting some additional resources toward Wii and NDS development as well,” noted Jenson, who added, “We have very aggressive market share goals for these platforms, as well the PS3 and Xbox 360.” Finally, in commenting on the impact Nintendo has had on the market with the Wii, Probst noted, “It seems as if it is expanding the overall market, and users who purchase software, and we think thats a good thing.” He balanced this compliment, however, by adding, “It appears as though as both Microsoft and Nintendo are positioned to gain some share, but we think Sony will continue to be strong...We will be provocatively supporting all of them.”

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