It broke late in the day yesterday that Electronic Arts would be losing their CEO John Riccitiello at the end of the month. In his stead, Larry Probst will be acting as Executive Chairman until a new CEO is named. (Think of Larry as Sean Bean in Game of Thrones after King Robert was killed by the wild boar… but of course without the whole beheading nastiness.)
For those that don’t know, Riccitiello has been CEO of EA since 2007 and has undergone lots of scrutiny during his time in the role. Early in his time as CEO, he divided up Electronic Arts into four separate parts: EA Games, EA Sports, EA Casual, and The Sims. He was also there when EA purchased the parent company behind Pandemic Studios and BioWare.
Unfortunately for Riccitiello, he was in power as CEO during the economic downtown in the nation which resulted in a huge drop in EA’s stock price as well as the failure to acquire TakeTwo, the owners of the Grand Theft Auto franchise. Though some may try and point at the recent missteps in the SimCity reboot launch, it has been a series of events that likely lead to Riccitiello’s decision to step down.
Here is what EA had to say in a press release yesterday:
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It hardly seems like a month can pass by without some sort of out of left field news popping up regarding the upcoming RoboCop reboot. This is a remake that should be easy to file away as a bad idea, the original worked despite it’s premise because of Verhoeven and everything else in the franchise after that has been a miss on one level or another.
That doesn’t mean they aren’t at least trying to give us an enjoyable film next year, and today’s casting shuffle news seems to indicate that at least some one really cares about this project. Secret British badass Hugh Laurie was in line to play the CEO of OmniCorp until he wasn’t, so the film replaces Dr. House with a damn Batman, Variety reports:
Michael Keaton has been tapped to play the villain, Raymond Sellars, in the “RoboCop” reboot for MGM and Sony… The Sellars character is the CEO of the corporation that builds RoboCop, played by Joel Kinnaman. The film, described as a “reimagining” of the 1987 Paul Verhoeven pic, is scheduled to begin shooting next month.
As much as Hugh Laurie was an exciting choice for the role originally, Keaton is easily ten times more intriguing. He has a manic energy that can really bring something fun to the head of the ever-present OmniCorp. You can even gauge from the actors connected to the role that the character is not meant to be a two-dimensional prick, but perhaps a character with some interesting perspective.
This film once again has us nodding our head in approval at the choices it has made in pre-production, let us hope that good mojo translates to the production phase that is set to begin soon.