Kristian Segerstrale has resigned from his job as the head of digital games at Electronic Arts. Chief executive John Riccitiello announced the move in a memo yesterday and said that chief operating officer Peter Moore is taking over as head of digital.
Segerstrale was the last remaining co-founder of social-game maker Playfish still at EA. EA bought Playfish for up to $400 million in 2009, signaling a big shift as the popularity of games spread beyond traditional consoles to new platforms such as Facebook.
Segerstrale continued to run the Playfish division and eventually took over as the head of social and mobile games after Zynga hired away EA’s Barry Cottle. Segerstrale’s job was to turn EA into a leader in games as services, where free-to-play business models rule. In those games, users play titles on social networks, iOS, and Android for free but pay real money for virtual goods. That’s a far cry from EA’s traditional business of selling console games in stores for $60, but it has now become a huge chunk of the company’s revenues.
In the memo, reported by TechCrunch, Riccitiello said that Segerstrale was going back to startups.
Today, we are announcing Kristian Segerstrale’s departure from EA, and the consolidation of the digital publishing, marketing, and Origin groups that make up EA Digital to report to our COO, Peter Moore.
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Kristian has elected to return to the world of startups where we first met him. I want to thank Kristian for the vision and tireless energy that he invested to help make EA Digital what it is today: a highly efficient and digitally-tuned operation unlike anything else in the gaming industry. Kristian’s contributions strengthened EA, and we wish him well in the future.
With the move of the EA Digital teams under Peter’s direction, he will now have responsibility for all of EA’s revenues globally – packaged goods and digital. Aligning the EA Digital groups in Peter’s organization, which already includes Global Publishing, EA Global Media Solutions, Worldwide Customer Experience and Mobile and Social Publishing, gives us greater focus on how we can use digital tools to accelerate revenue growth and improve the customer journey across all of our business.
Congratulations to the people and teams that helped build EA Digital into a game-changing asset for our business – I look forward to seeing your efforts continue to help shape how EA leads this increasingly digital industry. And congratulations to Peter Moore as he steps up to take on new responsibilities at EA and lead this exciting new chapter in our business.