Quick observation that might counter the impression people inside and outside of the gaming sector have of the big companies in the business: EA's games are Nicer than they are Naughty. By a factor of two, in fact.
I'm kicking myself today for not having visual proof for you. But I can make a sketch to demonstrate what I'm writing about.
Imagine the following paragraph is a schematic of EA's three-floor New York City demo event yesterday:
NICE (2nd floor)
NICE (ground level)
NAUGHTY (basement level)
On the ground level and first floor of EA's annual Naughty or Nice press event, the company had 18 console and handheld console games, plus six mobile titles. In the basement level, the company had nine.
In the Nice area, they had games like Littlest Pet Shop, EA Sports Active More Workouts, basketball, football and soccer games, plus Spore, Sims and Nerf titles. Wii and DS were the most visible machines. There were iPhones, too.
In the Naughty area, EA had a sci-fi game, a World War II game, three fantasy games, two military games and — stretching the definition of naughty, I guess — a boxing game. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were the dominant platforms.
The division of floorspace doesn't tell you anything about the division of EA's sales. I have no idea whether the Nice titles net twice the sales or dollars of the Naughty games. I don't even know if the Nice games out-perform the Naughty stuff.
But it's rare that you get to see a cross-section of a game company the size of EA. A cut of its current line-up argues that, far from making games mainly for the stereotypical guy-gamer, EA has, at least in number of titles, a heavy effort backing the types of games that, frankly, we don't cover a ton of here.
EA: Nicer than we thought. When measured in square footage.