The exec doesn’t have too far to move. To fill the post that’s been vacant since March, EA opted to promote from within the company, and turned to the head of its sports franchises like the popular “Madden” and “FIFA” football and soccer games. Move is a safe but smart hire, given how lucrative EA Sports is to EA’s overall bottom line.
Wilson has worked for EA for the past 13 years and also led its online games division.
The exec replaces John Riccitiello, who stepped down due to “shortcomings” in the company’s financial results. He had been CEO of EA since 2007.
Wilson takes over as Microsoft and Sony are readying to release two new videogame consoles, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, in November that the games biz hopes will help turn around sluggish sales during much of the year. He also will continue to grow EA’s online gaming efforts, especially when it comes to backing a free-to-play business model.
It already has scored a major free-to-play hit with its “Plants vs. Zombies” franchise.
For consoles, “Need for Speed,” which DreamWorks is adapting into a film that will races into theaters next year, “Dead Space,” “The Sims” and “Battlefield” are other top franchises for the company. Its upcoming “Titanfall” is also being well-received.