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EA plans to slash game output

Less is more!

EA has revealed that it plans to release around 40 per cent fewer games next year.

Speaking at the Reuters Global Media Summit this week, as reported by Wired, chief cigar chomper John Riccitiello revealed that EA expects to release 35 games this fiscal year, down from more than 50 last year. But what about next year?

"I don't think it goes to 10 or 15 or even less than 20, but there's some number probably between the low 20s and the high 20s that's right," he predicted.

The strategy is partly down to cutting costs, partly down to making better games and partly down to a new focus on the digital market.

Riccitiello has been all about risk-avoidance of late. Earlier this week he ruled out a purchase of troubled Rock Band developer Harmonix explaining, "We're still out of favour. 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 but more people have been cut trying to catch falling knives than have benefited from getting the timing exactly right."

Like it or not, this cautious approach seems to be paying dividends.

"I think we're at the classic hump where we've told people where we're going. There's evidence we're going to get there, but Vegas isn't putting money on it because we're only in the fourth inning," Riccitiello said at the Reuters pow-wow.

Among the 20-something titles you'll see from the super-publisher next year are Dead Space 2, Bulletstorm and Battlefield 3.

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Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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