EA Exec: Games Aren't "Mass Market" Yet

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EA Exec: Games Aren't "Mass Market" Yet

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Television is where the customers are, according to EA's Richard Hilleman.

"We have to make sure that game companies know what a mass market really is," says EA's CCO Richard Hilleman to Games Industry, after delivering a keynote address to a conference hall full of television manufacturing big shots at the UK's TV Connect 2013. "We're not one yet," he continues, while giving a nod to mobile and tablet gaming as the closest thing the gaming industry has to a genuine mass market. But, thinks Hilleman, for real reach, you have to go to the device that people turn to when they're bored of their phones and tablets. Enter television, the mass market to gaming's fringe, and the place where EA wants to sell its product in the coming years. Television, thinks Hilleman, is where the customers are.

EA has already done deals with the likes of Samsung and LG, putting its app based content out on smart televisions, and wants to expand its reach. After all, EA thinks, its customers have spent decades of their lives chained to the tube; that learned behaviour will surely translate to a sales bonanza. The chief problem right now, as EA sees it, isn't the technology or even broadband availability; it's monetization. EA doesn't want to be bundled in with a bunch of has-beens and never-was in some subscription package, where the duds drag down sales for everyone else. "They've cheapened my product by comparison," says Hilleman, "and they haven't allowed me to create unique value for that customer."

As for where these televisions are coming from, Hilleman's looking to Chinese manufacturers in particular, rather than Apple. China's putting out a lot of product - 170 million connected televisions to be sold in 2013 alone, according to Hilleman - and EA sees each one of those relatively low-priced televisions as a means of making a sale of its own. Meanwhile Apple's been toying with its smart television technology for a number of years, going nowhere, and Samsung, the largest manufacturer of LCD panels, has almost no reason to assist Apple's development. "I actually believe that nobody knows if Apple TV will happen," Hilleman claims, "including Tim Cook."

Source: Games Industry

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EA: Leaders in mass-marketing.

Remember kids! Quantity over Quality!

Me55enger:
Remember kids! Quantity over Quality!

Wasn't it Stalin who said that quantity becomes a quality all of it's own?

Guess what kids? More crap. Coming soon to a TV near you.

If you can't support your own weight in the industry then leave it but for the love of God, don't blame the market for your shortcomings especially with your own track record.

"We must open up because our former customers are onto us. We need a new dumb userbase to nickel and dime. Let's go for the TV masses. They watch soap operas. They will be perfect"

I can't help but feel that gaming is moving in a different direction than where my interests lie. I have absolutely no interest in motion sensors, 3D or smart televisions. I cannot stand this all-in-one direction it seems to be going in either.

Karloff:
EA doesn't want to be bundled in with a bunch of has-beens and never-was in some subscription package, where the duds drag down sales for everyone else. "They've cheapened my product by comparison," says Hilleman, "and they haven't allowed me to create unique value for that customer."

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Ah yes! 'Unique value' for the customer!

Presumably with tons more 'unique value' that can be purchased and added to the game in the form of handy microtransactions?

Well, the headline is kinda right. Games aren't "Mass Market" yet. "We have to make sure that game companies know what a mass market really is" yeah I can see that.

Their plans on breaking into that mass market, though, terrify me.

So, the problem with television based apps is that someone is going to make cheap, crappy games that EA will have to compete with. Woe is EA, having to compete. I think his complaint might have had some merit if I actually thought EA's games on such a platform wouldn't be equally bad, just over priced.

As for his comments about TV being a place where people go once they are done with their tablets and smart phones, that is true. The thing is, they aren't turning to their TVs to go play more games, they are turning to their TVs to watch TV. Bundling a game-app service onto smart TVs isn't a bad idea, but most of this guy's comments seem eye-rollingly idiotic.

I highly doubt that the only reason games aren't "mass-market" enough for him is because they aren't being sold directly through televisions. I'll eat my hat if games suddenly have a market evolution simply because someone starts selling them through TVs.

bafrali:
If you can't support your own weight in the industry then leave it but for the love of God, don't blame the market for your shortcomings especially with your own track record.

"We must open up because our former customers are onto us. We need a new dumb userbase to nickel and dime. Let's go for the TV masses. They watch soap operas. They will be perfect"

Nowhere Man:
Guess what kids? More crap. Coming soon to a TV near you.

Like Red Sand through Illium customs, so to are the Relays of Our Lives.

As The Elcore Turns: The longest running extranet series in Citadel history.

...So now EA will try to compete with the likes of Sony and other hardware giants that pretty much have a solid hold over the television market?

Goodluck with that.

EA needs to stop striving for a "mass market", because there is none to be reached, atleast not for them. They have shown a complete inability to adapt to their native industry, ignoring all methods that could have made their products successful (like NOT overbloating the budget and giving the developers a mere six months deadline).

Their mass production, mass marketing strategy might work better on television. But in an industry that's been established by several corporate giants of it's own EA will start off on shaky ground at the very start, and I doubt they can rely on brand loyalty to have an ensured profit. They will need to be -creative- if they want a foothold in a new market, do something new that gives them a significant edge over the other competitors.

But they won't. They will play it "safe", looking at what Sony and all the others are doing before copy pasting it with no clue on if it's actually appealing to the audience.

"They've cheapened my product by comparison,"

Oh don't worry, you do that all on your own, EA.

Oh EA. Don't ever change.

Origin - We see Valve making a lot of money. Let's do something like they are doing, but without any of the innovations they have. Surely that will make us more money. (Nope)

TV - Okay so Origin didn't work out all that well. I know. TVs make a lot of money, let's make TVs and Games for TV. Breaking into a market we have no experience with, that already has an established user base. Right after we pissed off the vast majority of our customers. This will surely. Surely make us more money and end our financial woes, I mean, who can resist the EA games logo.

Um, what?

Look EA, perhaps the reason games aren't "mass market" is because they just aren't to be mass marketed, and that the ultimate goal shouldn't be that everyone should play (or to be more precise with your schemes, be hooked on) a game because it's something to be experience. You know how Dead Space 3 had that ridiculous goal of 5 million? Well, you're going to have a hard time reaching that goal if you can't make up your mind which genre to focus on - Even if there's less than 5 million known players of a genre, that doesn't mean that if you focus on that genre and make the game inherently good, your game isn't going to reach 5 million copies.

But you know what can be mass marketed? Necessities. Are games a necessity? No. Once you realize that, you're going to find that it's a better idea to try to get on the good side of people who's already a part of the crowd rather than entice new people into the foray too naive to know who the good guys and bad guys are.

Lemme make sure I'm hearing this right... EA is losing money hand over fist with their current business practices in the industry they've been in for decades... so their response is to invest a fortune in doing the exact same thing on a scale far greater than the one they already can't sustain... huh.

Business model losing money? Do it 10 times more!
I feel like Insanity Wolf should accompany this idea...

Oh shut the fuck up dude. Gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry. Just because no one wants to buy your shitty apps doesn't mean it isn't.

And yeah your shitty scrabble app sucks compared to all the other scrabble knock-offs in the Play Store. You're the one bringing down that bundle.

I entered this thread expecting to read all about EA's latest idiocy. I wasn't disappointed.

If I understand this correctly, they are:

- entering a demographically much wider market
- planning to compete with entrenched competitors with established brand loyalty
- under the impression tv audiences are easier to monetise than their gaming counterparts

Honestly, I don't exactly have a Business MBA, but somehow this simultaneously feels like they're about a decade behind the times, and hopelessly naive about expected revenue.

'On the next episode of "Dr EA And The Quest For The Mass-Market Money", Dr EA decides to start bundling crack-cocaine with his games in his search for that elusive cash horde.

Dr EA- "Here, my treat. I'll even throw in a free crack pipe if you just buy this copy of Dead Space 3! Whaddya say?"

Meanwhile, his pretty assistant Miss Maxis strikes a new business approach... by giving out free hookers with every copy of SimCity.

Miss Maxis: "This game may blow, but not as much as Trixie. Come on, try it."

Will Dr EA finally find that golden stash of cash he's been looking for? Will Miss Maxis ever make a good game again? Will little Bobby Bioware ever manage to ask Stephanie Meyer out to the Prom?

Tune in next week to find out... only on "Dr EA And The Quest For The Mass-Market Money"'

...I swear, EA's turned into a goddamn soap opera these days.

They are aware that a lot of the people who have no interest in video games aren't going to go for a high-end TV, right? There's also the fact that people will say, "Why would I buy this on my TV, I already have games on my phone/tablet." EA does market research yes, but they have no clue how to apply it in a way that makes sense. The really big problem is that EA will end up going into competition with companies like Apple where they don't stand a chance.

Really, smart TVs are the game market of the future? Because last time I checked, people who are into the app games that EA is pushing already play those on smartphones and tablets, as Hilleman mentioned and then apparently immediately forgot. The advantage of those is that a person can play an app game while using the TV for its intended purpose, which is watching television. How would you like to watch your significant other play angry birds on the TV instead of his/her tablet while your favorite show is on? Yeah, me neither. If you're clamoring to see app games in all their glory on a widescreen, then I guess this might make sense, but I'm betting that most people simply don't care enough to bother.

Soooo, where was this market goldmine again?

and they still havent learned. now trying every possibility to claim that they are not the worst company....again. seriously, every week there is at least 2 articles about €A and their retarded business scheme or claims that they are are good and make great games.

I'm not sure I understand where they're going with with the whole "TV is where the money is". This article confused me a bit.
As for "providing value for the customer". That phrase coming from them is nothing if not smirk inducing.

I suprised they haven't already turned their IPs in to TV shows already...

Mother of Dog!

This kind of reeks of 'gamers don't like us any more, so fuck those guys!'. If at first you don't succeed, burn your bridges and pedal your wares to someone else who doesn't know how shit you are at your job.

I don't understand what he wants. Does he want to make Dragon Age and Mass Effect CG TV shows? Yeah that's a great idea... in 1998.

Well, I guess it's only natural for a tumor to spread to and infect other parts of the body.

And in some alternate universe, the way EA is steadily headed towards the cliff turns out to be a viral marketing stunt for their reimagining of Lemmings: Corporate Edition.

How are they going to water down their games any further at this point?

Genocidicles:

Ah yes! 'Unique value' for the customer!

Presumably with tons more 'unique value' that can be purchased and added to the game in the form of handy microtransactions?

Well, that's the unique value. The exact, scientifically-determined number we're worth to them. >.>

EA shouldn't allow their Execs to speak in public. It's never a good thing when they do.

CriticalMiss:
I suprised they haven't already turned their IPs in to TV shows already...

Mother of Dog!

This kind of reeks of 'gamers don't like us any more, so fuck those guys!'. If at first you don't succeed, burn your bridges and pedal your wares to someone else who doesn't know how shit you are at your job.

What the hell did I just watch?

Also -

I was going to go in about how this was a bad idea.

Then I remembered that shows like Meet the Kardashians are popular so EA, go right ahead.

Oh good, because I really needed more justification for my decision to not buy products from EA anymore. -_-

Cecilo:
Oh EA. Don't ever change.

Origin - We see Valve making a lot of money. Let's do something like they are doing, but without any of the innovations they have. Surely that will make us more money. (Nope)

TV - Okay so Origin didn't work out all that well. I know. TVs make a lot of money, let's make TVs and Games for TV. Breaking into a market we have no experience with, that already has an established user base. Right after we pissed off the vast majority of our customers. This will surely. Surely make us more money and end our financial woes, I mean, who can resist the EA games logo.

Me. I'm a sick of your crap! Just focus on not screwing over the DA and ME fanbase.

Keep trying, EA. Some day you may say something that isn't a pot full of stupid sauce.

It seems like EA is seeing big markets that DON'T play games ( probably for reasons...) and saying "hey! look at all these people not playing our games! We need to throw more games at them and they'll surely give us all their moneys!"

Seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if they moved on to saying something like "Hey! People like food, right? Let's shove a gameboy into all the meat, and embed apps onto the vegetables! People will love us for that, right?! RIGHT?!"

It's pretty sad, really.

EA, you guys have millions of people who ALREADY know you exist, and would buy your games if they weren't consistently moneygrubbing, rushed, low quality, anti-consumer, DRM using shit. Maybe you should, you know, solidify your existing consumer base who are growing wise to your bullshit instead of trying to herd in a new gang of lemmings to scam with your bullshit.

Can someone take away EA's guns so they can stop shooting themselves in the foot? Cause at this point there should be nothing left but a stump

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