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Riccitiello: Wii To Get 'Half Our Emphasis'

Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello says a stronger focus on the Wii platform will be key to the publisher's rebound after its Q3 loss, blending sports titles with Wii versions of
As Electronic Arts reported greatly-widened losses in its fiscal third quarter, CEO John Riccitiello said that in addition to getting its operating expenses way down, the publisher needs to do better on the Wii in order to make a rebound. EA's goal, he said on the company's call to investors, is to "rival Nintendo on their own platform" and "get noticed [on Wii] in ways that no other third party will." In addition to focusing EA Sports heavily on the Wii with a new tennis franchise, the publisher plans on "taking advantage of... fascination with fitness" through EA Sports Active. But Riccitiello also said EA would also be bringing "core intellectual property" such as Dead Space to Wii, in editions custom-designed for the strengths of the platform. Riccitiello also described how the EA thinks of the industry in terms of three "buckets" (excluding EA's mobile and Pogo businesses): Online games, Wii games, and Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games. The EA CEO says he places the Xbox 360 and the PS3 in the same "bucket" because "the lion's share of titles developed for those platforms are common." "We're proud to have great marketing partnerships around key exclusives, but in general, think of us as having those three buckets," he says. And as the market leader, the Wii will receive as much focus from EA now as both the next-gen systems together. "Nintendo is the leader; they're getting half our emphasis in terms of title counts," said Riccitiello. "You live, you learn you adjust and improve," he added, explaining why the company's Wii initiatives would be more successful in the coming year than in the previous year. "This year's title slate is a significant improvement from last year."

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