EA Games - or Electronic Arts as it is still officially known - established itself as the world's biggest computer games company in the 2000s with sports titles for the NFL, FIFA and PGA associations, breakthrough franchises like The Sims, and entertainment licenses for Harry Potter and Hasbro. However, it was caught off-balance by the rise of first multiplayer and then mobile gaming, both areas where it has been slow to catch up. It was overtaken as the global #1 in 2008 by the merger of rivals Activision and Vivendi's Blizzard, and then by a succession of other developers, but remains a dynamic force in the industry, especially in the sports games market. Its top-selling games in 2015 were FIFA 15 and FIFA 16, along with Madden NFL 15, Madden NFL 16 and Star Wars Battlefront. Other important franchises developed by EA's various separate software studios include Battlefield, The Sims and SimCity, Mass Effect and Titanfall, but the group has reduced the number of titles it releases each year to concentrate on top-sellers. As performance weakened during 2013, John Riccitiello resigned as CEO and was replaced by Andrew Wilson, formerly head of its sports division. That has led to a strong turnaround, and a big push into mobile gaming. Revenues for fiscal 2016 were $4.4bn, slightly below the previous year's record high. The company was founded in 1982 by Trip Hawkins, but its true architect was arguably Larry Probst, who joined the business two years later as head of sales. He became CEO in 1991, and retained that role until 2007. He remains executive chairman as well as EA's biggest individual shareholder. Adbrands does not currently offer a business profile for this company but subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to Adbrands.net premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.
Advertising expenditure for EA in 2015? See ranking of Declared Advertising Costs
Capsule checked 19th July 2016
Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Sep 2017: Here's a new wrinkle to the brand endorsement circus. Coca-Cola Zero Sugar has signed up star soccer player Alex Hunter to represent its brand worldwide in a series of promotional tie-ups. Nothing unusual about that you might think, but Alex Hunter doesn't actually exist in the real world; he's a character in FIFA 18, the latest iteration of EA's long-running video game series. In one of the game's story segments, Hunter signs a deal with Coke and even makes a commercial in the style of the iconic "Mean Joe Green" campaign from the 70s. Hunter will also rep Coke in social media, on packaging and even some out-of-home sites.
Adbrands Weekly Update 27th Aug 2015: Ads of the Week: "Madden: The Movie". Indie agency Heat San Francisco throws in everything including the kitchen sink in a totally insane promo for EA's Madden NFL 16 game. Latino gangs, rocket launchers, Bollywood dancing, Al Pacino in Scent Of A Woman (hoo-hah!) ... and a dinosaur. It makes no sense at all, but you won't be able to stop watching for a minute. Awesome-plus!
Adbrands Weekly Update 31st Oct 2013: EA Games pulled the plug on a 15-year endorsement partnership with golfer Tiger Woods, citing steep declines in sales of recent Tiger Woods PGA Tour releases. The 2013 version has sold only around 300,000 copies, compared to almost 3.4m in 2009. Woods is thought to have earned around $750m in sponsorship fees from EA since 1998.
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