Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts Inc. is an American video game company headquartered in Redwood City, California. It is the second-largest gaming company in the Americas and Europe by revenue and market capitalization after Activision Blizzard and ahead of Take-Two Interactive and Ubisoft as of March 2018. Founded and incorporated on May 27, 1982, by Apple employee Trip Hawkins, the company was a pioneer of the early home computer games industry and was notable for promoting the designers and programmers responsible for its games. EA published numerous games and productivity software for personal computers and experimented on techniques to internally develop games, leading to the 1987 release of Skate or Die!. EA develops and publishes games of established franchises, including Battlefield, Need for Speed, The Sims, Medal of Honor, Command & Conquer, Dead Space, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Army of Two and Star Wars, as well as the EA Sports titles FIFA, Madden NFL, NBA Live, NHL, EA Sports UFC, their desktop titles appear on self-developed Origin, an online gaming digital distribution platform for PCs and a direct competitor to Valve's Steam and Epic Games' Store.

EA owns and operates major gaming studios such as EA Tiburon in Orlando, EA Vancouver in Burnaby, DICE in Sweden and Los Angeles, BioWare in Edmonton and Austin, Respawn Entertainment in Los Angeles. Trip Hawkins had been an employee of Apple since 1978, at a time when the company had only about fifty employees. Over the next four years, the market for home personal computers skyrocketed. By 1982, Apple had completed its initial public offering and become a Fortune 500 company with over one thousand employees. In February 1982, Trip Hawkins arranged a meeting with Don Valentine of Sequoia Capital to discuss financing his new venture, Amazin' Software. Valentine encouraged Hawkins to leave Apple, where Hawkins served as Director of Product Marketing, allowed Hawkins use of Sequoia Capital's spare office space to start the company. On May 27, 1982, Trip Hawkins incorporated and established the company with a personal investment of an estimated US$200,000. For more than seven months, Hawkins refined his Electronic Arts business plan.

With aid from his first employee, Rich Melmon, the original plan was written by Hawkins, on an Apple II in Sequoia Capital's office in August 1982. During that time, Hawkins employed two of his former staff from Apple, Dave Evans and Pat Marriott, as producers, a Stanford MBA classmate, Jeff Burton from Atari for international business development; the business plan was again refined in September and reissued on October 8, 1982. By November, employee headcount rose to 11, including Tim Mott, Bing Gordon, David Maynard, Steve Hayes. Having outgrown the office space provided by Sequoia Capital, the company relocated to a San Mateo office that overlooked the San Francisco Airport landing path. Headcount rose in 1983, including Don Daglow, Richard Hilleman, Stewart Bonn, David Gardner, Nancy Fong; when he incorporated the company, Hawkins chose Amazin' Software as their company name, but his other early employees of the company universally disliked the name and it changed its name to Electronic Arts in November 1982.

He scheduled an off-site meeting in the Pajaro Dunes, where the company once held such off-site meetings. Hawkins had developed the ideas of treating software as an art form and calling the developers, "software artists". Hence, the latest version of the business plan had suggested the name "SoftArt"; however and Melmon knew the founders of Software Arts, the creators of VisiCalc, thought their permission should be obtained. Dan Bricklin did not want the name used. However, the name concept was liked by all the attendees. Hawkins had recently read a bestselling book about the film studio United Artists, liked the reputation that the company had created. Hawkins said everyone had a vote but they would lose it if they went to sleep. Hawkins liked the word "electronic", various employees had considered the phrases "Electronic Artists" and "Electronic Arts"; when Gordon and others pushed for "Electronic Artists", in tribute to the film company United Artists, Steve Hayes opposed, saying, "We're not the artists, they are..."

This statement from Hayes tilted sentiment towards Electronic Arts and the name was unanimously endorsed and adopted in 1982. He recruited his original employees from Apple, Xerox PARC, VisiCorp, got Steve Wozniak to agree to sit on the board of directors. Hawkins was determined to sell directly to buyers. Combined with the fact that Hawkins was pioneering new game brands, this made sales growth more challenging. Retailers wanted to buy known brands from existing distribution partners. Former CEO Larry Probst arrived as VP of Sales in late 1984 and helped expand the successful company; this policy of dealing directly with retailers gave EA higher margins and better market awareness, key advantages the company would leverage to leapfrog its early competitors. A novel approach to giving credit to its developers was one of EA's trademarks in its early days; this characterization was further reinforced with EA's packaging of most of their games in the "album cover" pioneered by EA because Hawkins thought that a record album style would both save costs and convey an artistic feeling.

EA referred to their developers as "artists" and gave them photo credits in their games and numerous full-page magazine ads. Their first such ad, accompanied by the slogan "We see farther," was the first video game advertisement to feature software designers. EA shared lavish profits with their develop

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