With his new outlook, Mr. Riccitiello echoed the film director Gore Verbinski, who gave the keynote address at the Design, Innovate, Create, Entertain conference. Mr. Verbinski hammered on a point that is often obvious to consumers of popular entertainment but is lost on the corporate overseers of mass media: a company’s main asset is not a brand or a marketing tie-in, but people. Intuitive, idiosyncratic and sometimes maddening, the writers, artists and designers at the core of the creative process are those who drive the business of intellectual property.
“Frankly, the core of our business, like in any creative business, are the guys and women who are actually making the product,” Mr. Riccitiello said. “You can’t just buy people and attempt to apply some business-school synergy to them. It just doesn’t work. The companies that succeed are those that provide a stage for their best people and let them do what they do best, and it’s taken us some time to understand that.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Somebody Gets It
I have never worked in the video game industry and I don't play games either. I am aware, however, that games have become a major part of the animation industry. The New York Times has an article about John Riccitiello, CEO of Electronic Arts, one of the largest companies in the gaming business, but one whose market share and reputation have slipped lately. Riccitiello has apparently seen the light, realizing that creative businesses are not like others and that management's approach has to be different as a result. I hope that this realization is genuine and not just a public relations ploy.