EA's four-way play

The megapublisher will attempt to streamline 'operational efficiency' by reorganising into four separate business units.

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Electronic Arts' new chief executive officer, John Riccitiello, is going to be making some changes to the way the gaming giant runs its business. Riccitiello, who assumed his post in April, will be restructuring the company's framework so that it becomes four separate labels.

Riccitiello was formerly EA's president and COO, before resigning in April 2004 to "start a private equity business." He then returned to EA as CEO after former top dog Larry Probst quit unexpectedly in February this year.

The first of the four units, EA Games, will be the largest division and headed up by Frank Gibeau. This label will take responsibility for titles, including the Battlefield series, the Medal of Honor series, Spore, the Need for Speed series, and the Command & Conquer series. EA Games is also the label home for EA partners' publishing.

The second will be EA Sports, which will be run by executive vice president Joel Linzer in the interim period until a permanent boss is announced. EA Sports will, unsurprisingly, handle the sports game titles, including the popular FIFA Soccer games, the Madden series, the Tiger Woods PGA Tour golf game series, and the NASCAR series.

The Sims games will be getting their own label, headed up by Nancy Smith, as the series continues to spawn sequels and expansion packs. The reasoning behind this is to cut down on the red tape, meaning fewer execs will have to sign off games or approve regional launches of existing titles.

The fourth division, EA Casual Entertainment, was announced earlier this month and will be a casual-games arm to be headed up by former Activision head of publishing Kathy Vrabeck. This division will be responsible for "casual" titles on consoles, PCs, handhelds, and mobile phones, with games, franchises, and licenses to be announced at a later date.

An EA spokesperson told GameSpot, "It's not a division, it's the creation of four new labels...It will allow us to focus more on customers, more on global priorities, and it will speed decision making."

The transition will be rolled out over the coming months.

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