GAMES PUBLISHER Electronic Arts (EA) has announced that its CEO John Riccitiello will step down from his position at the company on 30 March.
Riccitiello's departure follows EA's Simcity fiasco that has seen the game plagued with problems since launch, with users giving the city building game one star reviews on Amazon and taking to Twitter in protest.
However, EA did not mention whether the Simcity fiasco had anything to do with Riccitiello's decision, saying only, "The Board has appointed Larry Probst as Executive Chairman to ensure a smooth transition and to lead EA's executive team while the Board conducts a search for a permanent CEO."
In a statement, Riccitiello explained that his reason for leaving was that after six years, "I feel it is the right time for me pass the baton and let new leadership take the company into its next phase of innovation and growth."
He neglected to allude to what might really have sparked his departure, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the major issues encountered with Simcity could have been the straw that broke the camels back. EA hasn't been performing well for a while.
As a result of the Simcity debacle, EA expects that its revenue and earnings per share for this quarter will be "at the low end of, or slightly-below" that predicted back in January.
EA will announce its fourth quarter figures for the fiscal year 2013 on 7 May. We expect that it won't be pretty.
As a good will gesture, EA announced it is offering Simcity owners a choice of eight titles for free to say sorry for the Simcity mess and frustrating its fan base.
The company announced what titles ticked off Simcity gamers can choose from today. These include: Battlefield 3, Bejeweled 3, Dead Space 3, Mass Effect 3, Medal of Honor Warfighter, Need for Speed Most Wanted, Plants vs. Zombies, and Simcity 4 Deluxe Edition.
The free game will be available for download on Wednesday night for those in the US, and globally by Friday evening for all those who purchased and activated Simcity before 26 March. µ
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