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EA exec Peter Moore hits out at 'smug' Riccitiello taunts

Plus, EA shares climb as firm prepares to change leadership

The second-in-command at Electronic Arts has hit out at the media for what he describes as "smug" taunts directed at outgoing CEO John Riccitiello.

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Hours after it was announced that Riccitiello was standing down as chief executive, games site Kotaku published an article entitled The Best John Riccitiello Jokes Twitter Has to Offer.

Moore, currently the corporation's chief operating officer and considered the number one contender for CEO, lashed out at the Kotaku article on his personal Facebook account.

"Kotaku revelling in what, due to their self-smugness, they don't realise is a sad day for our industry, which is the platform on which they actually make money," he was quoted as saying by GamesIndustry.biz

"John not only helped propel our company and interactive entertainment into new experiences, thus enticing millions of new people to become 'gamers', his work leading the ESA in recent years has helped ensure that we don't experience the fate of the music industry," Moore added.

"It is a sad loss for all of us who had the pleasure of working with him as we emerged from The Burning Platform".

Other industry professionals stepped in to defend Riccitiello. Former Epic Games director Mike Capps added: "Indeed. I doubt we can shout louder than the misinformed, but it's still worth speaking up!"

Riccitiello himself briefly commented on the Facebook thread, writing "thanks all".

Meanwhile, EA stock has climbed 2.6 per cent in after-hours trading as the company looks to replace Riccitiello. Key candidates include Moore and Games Label boss Frank Gibeau.

Changes to the executive team come in the wake of an embarrassing public outburst against EA for failing to support demand for the SimCity launch.

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