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Massive shake-up at EA

New boss splits FIFA 08 publisher four ways in an efficiency drive

Under a plan masterminded by CEO John Riccitiello, EA will soon be split into four units that will each focus on a different area of the corporate giant's portfolio: sports, casual games, Sims, and other games.

According to Reuters, the FIFA 08 publisher has made it clear that there will be no job losses, as the move should help to save money when the cost of developing a blockbuster today can top $20 million.

"It makes a lot of sense. It streamlines the company," said Todd Greenwald, an analyst with Nollenberger Capital Partners. "It goes with Riccitiello's desire to make people more accountable. When a game misses a deadline, when the quality is bad, he wants one person to explain why."

Riccitiello returned to the company in April with the intention of realigning the company and improve its ability to act quickly. "He's had a very strong and aggressive change agenda and what he's been framing as a challenge to the management team is that we are facing a market that is incredibly diverse and complex," said Frank Gibeau, head of the new EA Games unit.