The Rainmakers

The Rainmakers
"EA is a Startup"

Russ Pitts | 6 Mar 2007 11:03
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TE: You've been in the industry, it's fair to say, since the beginning. Is there anything you can see at this point in time that you would say is the number one problem facing the industry?

JY: Yeah, I can certainly say that the number one problem right now is how expensive these damn products have gotten. You know, because they've gotten so expensive, it's discouraged people from taking risks. And because we're not taking risks, we're not getting the opportunity to innovate as much as we might otherwise.

I don't see any barriers to it stopping, actually. I mean, look at movies, movies got ridiculously expense because you're always going to have the top-three list. ... The potential in revenue and the audience is so big, that as long as people feel that by spending more money [they'll] have a better shot at getting that bigger audience, then people will keep doing it. And a lot of the decisions that get made in our industry are not done with rational thinking, so we're just going to see these numbers getting bigger and bigger.

The thing that's fun about this is every now and then, one of those really big-budget projects is actually going to do what everybody expected it to, which is sell a gazillion units and be a watershed product, blah, blah, blah, and all this does is throw more gasoline on the fire, so it's just going to keep going.

***

And talking to Joe Ybarra, it's clear he's trying to do just that; make his next game the next game, and with Stargate Worlds, he's in position to make that dream a reality. The amount of raw talent being thrown at the game, and the rampant consumer demand (the Stargate franchise continues to grow, with a third TV series in the works) would seem to point to a sure-fire hit, but we won't know for sure if Cheyenne has a hit on their hands until either it launches or people start lining up outside of Joe's office to get a look at the code. That uncertainty, that gamble, is what makes this industry so unique, and rainmakers like Joe Ybarra such a powerful force.

Check The Escapist Daily throughout the week for more on Joe Ybarra and Stargate Worlds.

Russ Pitts is an Associate Editor for The Escapist. He has written and produced for television, theatre and film, has been writing on the web since it was invented and claims to have played every console ever made.

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