EA Avoids Big Acquisitions While Pushing Social Gaming

By Colin Tan on November 30, 2010, 11:19PM EDT

No longer the largest publishing giant of the gaming industry, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello has admitted that the company has gone "out of favour" with investors. The company's stock has seen a drop of 16 percent this year and 73 percent since 2007.

"We're still out of favor," he told Bloomberg when asked about potentially acquiring Harmonix, makers of the Rock Band titles. "Moves that look like I'm doubling down on yesterday would make it harder still to convince investors that tomorrow is the Promised Land."

"I'm sure some smart investor will buy the business feeling that they can catch a falling knife," he added, "but more people have been cut trying to catch falling knives than have benefitted from getting the timing exactly right."

Riccitiello also explained that EA's current plan is to boost their social and mobile gaming revenue to $750 million this year. They recently acquired PlayFish Inc, the second largest game maker on Facebook, as well as Chillingo, makers of the insanely popular iOS game Angry Birds.

"I need to finish engineering and building to make that happen," Riccitiello said. "I don't need a billion-dollar acquisition."

Riccitiello is optimistic that EA will rise up again and convince their investors otherwise: "There is going to be a time when perception catches up with the facts."

Source: Bloomberg

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