Electronic Arts is one of the biggest game publishers out there, but it wants to be bigger, and one of way of achieving that is by getting its own GTA-type game.
Electronic Arts doesn't usually release new IPs, but that could be said about other big publishers as well. They usually like to make reiterations in the same franchises, and they don't take too many risks. The community calls this milking, and I'm pretty sure that they call it a good investment. The thing is that they are probably both right, in their own way.
It's also worth noting that Electronic Arts doesn't have big games in its arsenal, but big in this case only means stuff like GTA or Assassins Creed titles. They invest quite a lot in their other games, but they don't have these holiday killers, and they are probably thinking of ways to break into this genre. It's also interesting to see them admitting to this kind of stuff, and we'll probably hear soon something about a game that will try to take on one or more of these successful titles.
It's clear already that GTA or Assassins Creed are now big enough and so well-known that they are probably selling themselves. Barring some mistakes from the developers, if you have a game with a title that says Assassins Creed, it's going to be a hit.
Patrick Soderlund, executive vice president of EA Studios, talked with IGN and mentioned this "problem." "If you look at the biggest segment in our industry, which is action, we don't have a lot. EA is not known to make gigantic action games like Assassin's Creed or Batman or GTA or those types of games that are really big. The strategic direction that we put in motion is to expand our portfolio more into that segment, to see what can we bring to gamers that maybe hasn't been done before."
EA now has two choices, either it changes one of the existing IPs to make one of these "big games" or it tries something new. Everyone wants to see something new, but we shouldn’t put too much stock on that.