Though game sales are still strong, declining review scores could be a sign that EA needs to shape up.
Electronic Arts gets a lot of flak for releasing the "same old game" every year. While that's not completely true, critics have said that EA could be doing a lot more with innovation and bringing new IPs to the table. Whether or not the publisher has listened to these outcries is up for debate, but now that someone that can affect EA's bottom line—a financial analyst—has spoken out, there might be changes on the horizon.
Evan Wilson, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities, made a statement to investors about the viability of Electronic Arts, the largest third party game developer/publisher in the world. "Poor reviews and quality are beginning to tarnish the EA brand," said Wilson. Using meta-review sites like GameRankings, the firm has determined that "Electronic Arts' overall game quality continues to fall. Although market share has not declined dramatically to date, in years such as 2007, which promises to have tremendous competition, it seems likely if quality does not improve."
Wilson says that EA's yearly sports franchises are the company's biggest source of profit, but stresses game quality has been taking a slight dive in past years. The analyst couldn't put his finger on exactly why this is, though he noted that one of the reasons might be because the publisher has been focusing more on pumping out as many games as they could, rather than making sure each one was a quality release. Recent lackluster games coming out of EA include Batman Begins, NFL Head Coach, and Superman Returns, among others.
The Pacific Crest Securities man sees only sees this as being a real problem in the short term, however. After all, EA is still "the marquee developer and publisher of video games," according to Wilson.