As Hammers reports, Electronic Arts has recognized that leaders are needed in both the operational and the creative side of the business. Electronic Arts participates in a dynamic industry where new products are developed on a frequent basis just to keep the company competitive. The Emerging Leaders program grooms employees to lead the company in the future and as part of the program, the participants spend time with senior executives and the CEO, participating in planning sessions and presentations. The Creative Leaders program focuses on developing creative talent that incorporates Shakespeare and Beowulf with MIT consultants in media services and professionals from the film industry.
The goal of these two programs is to ensure that Electronic Arts maintains a strong pool of leaders who will move the company forward after the founders and leaders of the previous generation are no longer with the organization. After customer retention and cost control, a recent study conducted among leading CEOs found that developing and keeping leaders is the most important challenge facing companies. Electronic Arts is taking a proactive approach to meet this challenge (Hammers, 2003).
Electronic Arts, although the largest competitor in its market, faces strong competition from Microsoft and other game manufacturers. Electronic Arts has traditionally been strong in the sports games, but Take-Two is engaged in aggressive promotion for its ESPN games and selling these for $19.95; this compares to an average price of $49.95 for the games from Electronic Arts (Lacy, 2004).
In addition, the company is dependent on hardware manufacturers to produce new versions of their game consoles that offer additional benefits to players. At this point, the market anticipates new versions of the Xbox, PlayStation and GameCube, but these are not expected to reach stores until sometime in 2005. This is expected to put downward pressure on demand for gam...