|Electronic Arts Logo|
|Founded In||May, 1982|
|Founded By||Trip Hawkins|
|Company Type||PLC NASDAQ: ERTS|
|Headquarters||Redwood City, California|
|Revenue||3.654 Billion USD|
|Net||-677 Million USD|
Electronic Arts (EA) are a major publishing and developing company for video games. Founded in May, 1982 by Trip Hawkins.
It was Trip's vision to create a company that envisions games as art forms, giving credit to developers for their work. The company was originally going to be called SoftArt, but Software Arts requested this name wasn't used. EA released it's first games in 1983 in special gatefold sleeves, with artistic images; giving the appearance of rock albums.
In 1983 EA published a game called Dr. J and Larry Bird Go One on One. As part of its promotion, celebrities; Julius Erving and Larry Bird were involved. EA paved the way for video games, being one of the first publishers to involve celebrities with the promotion of games.
During the early eighties the video game market got hit with a huge bombshell. Atari was the mainstream gaming platform of the time with many homes owning the consoles. However, in 1983 the Atari was becoming outdated and consumers quickly lost interest. This created a massive slump in the industry forcing EA to change their business plan.
Realising that consumers focused more on product name as opposed to developer teams, EA changed their promotion of games, putting more emphasis on the title. The developers were still accredited, but in a much smaller scale.
Following the success of One on One, EA continued the trend of involving sports figures with the promotion of games. A repertoire of licensed products ensure;
For the best part of the 80s, EA focused predominantly on games for the personal computer rather than gaming console, with founder; Trip Hawkins believing the console market was set for inevitable decline. However, with the release of the NES and the increase within the console market, EA began its first in-house development; Skate or Die, which was published by Konami in 1988. As the proliferation of console games continued EA began to publish games for the Genesis.
Developing games for the Genesis was not a problem to EA, as they had previous experience in writing for the processor used by the system, as it was found in the Atari and Macintosh. This allowed EA to reverse engineer the Genesis giving the the power to develop games without any help from Sega. Using this to his advantage, Hawkins threatened to release games for the Genesis without a license from Sega. This was a risky move, but paid off for the company as EA were able to negotiate a good deal for themselves.
After negotiating a deal with Sega, EA set way to make many games for the Genesis. They set up many franchises such as FIFA, which has been highly successful and still running today.. They also ported some RPG games from personal computers, which helped establish console gaming as an activity for adults in addition to the pre-existing child-orientation of the market.
With the next generation of gaming right around the corner, video game development became a big business. It could no longer be done by a solitary person turning their vision into a well established game. Those days were gone, now it took teams of specialised people to create a game.
With this in mind EA acquired their first development studio; Distinctive. Distinctive were making games for EA's rivals; Accolade, but after their acquisition they began work on the sports franchises and created Need for Speed which is still on the market today. Distinctive was renamed as EA Canada and is now one of the largest divisions of the company.
Over the next few years EA acquired several development teams;
- Richard Garriott's Origin Systems in 1992
- Peter Molyneux's Bullfrog in 1995
- Will Wright's Maxis in 1997
- Westwood Studios in 1998
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/ERTS/financials MarketWatch ERTS
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 We See Farther - A History of Electronic Arts, by Frank Cifaldi and Jeffrey Fleming
- ↑ </http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2008/12/12/ea-cancel.html CBC EA Cancels Vancouver Exapansion.
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