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

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canadamus_prime:

Well I did say it'd only be a first step. I just seems to me that every time an EA executive opens their mouth they dig the company as a whole further an further into the hole they've dug for themselves. So a good first step would be to stop them from opening their mouths and that includes social networking (Twatter, Facebook etc.). Lock them in the basement if necessary. Then again, the pandemic of Foot in Mouth disease doesn't seem to be exclusive to EA.

No, you're right. It's not exclusive to EA.

God knows Ubisoft and Blizzard "higher-ups" have made their fair share of infuriatingly stupid comments lately.

Vigormortis:

canadamus_prime:

Well I did say it'd only be a first step. I just seems to me that every time an EA executive opens their mouth they dig the company as a whole further an further into the hole they've dug for themselves. So a good first step would be to stop them from opening their mouths and that includes social networking (Twatter, Facebook etc.). Lock them in the basement if necessary. Then again, the pandemic of Foot in Mouth disease doesn't seem to be exclusive to EA.

No, you're right. It's not exclusive to EA.

God knows Ubisoft and Blizzard "higher-ups" have made their fair share of infuriatingly stupid comments lately.

And let's not forget Microsoft. Microsoft's recent outbreak of Foot in Mouth disease cost one of them their job.

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

You mean, less Reality TV? Can you show me the problem again?

barbzilla:

By default, I'm always interested in intelligent input, and you do have a point in that a company does have to innovate in order to stay relevant - and that involves taking risks.

So far they also haven't really brought out any practical details, so we can't very well tell whether this is another example of their trademark stupidity, or a legitimate attempt at making a successful push to bring gaming to TV.

They might very well be onto something, but their track record is less than stellar. Time will tell.

canadamus_prime:

And let's not forget Microsoft. Microsoft's recent outbreak of Foot in Mouth disease cost one of them their job.

I do admit his twitter shenannigans were beyond stupid, but it's always a sad thing when a bit of random raving gets somebody fired.

I don't get it though, surely everyone who wanted to play games would be gaming by now, either or on their PCs, tablets, consoles or phones?

What makes them think more people are going to start gaming just because their new TVs can play games now?

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
'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.

Brilliant, thanks for putting a smile on my face.

OT: I don't want a smart tv I can play games on. Give me a dumb tv (with good graphic quality) and I'll make it smart by attaching other machines to it. This way the tv should be cheaper for everyone, and those who want to play games can buy a specialized machine for it.

onyx_sword:

Sight Unseen:

Arrogancy:

While this is sound advice, there's some credence to the idea that it won't work. I read an article on Forbes' website the other day discussing EA and their recent dishonor of winning the WCIA Golden Poo again. In it the author discussed that EA is really in a pretty impossible position at the moment. They've spent much of the last decade destroying their credibility and rapidly expending the goodwill of their customers, so much so that there's almost nothing left. For EA, right now, attempting to change their business model and become a consumer-friendly company that doesn't try to nickel-and-dime their consumers will quite possibly kill them. They need time to rebuild their customer goodwill, time to roll back their insane DRM schemes and remove their moronic microtransactions from full-priced games.

They could at least, you know, make some semblance of an effort to turn the corner though... They still seem to be going full steam ahead with their self-destruction. Every time they make a press release they make themselves look like even bigger assholes. At this point, I think it would serve them better to stop what they're doing, look at themselves and then make a release saying "we fucked up, we see what we did wrong, and we're going to try and fix it." Sure, a lot of people will be skeptical at first, but if they actually follow through with it, I can see them repairing the damage they've done relatively quickly, even if their transition is gradual.

All I really want from them is some acknowledgement and some indication that they're turning things around, and a bit more transparency and less blatant lies... Is that so much to ask? lol.

EA will never change because they never have. Anything popular they own is used until they no longer see value in it. They then shelve the brand, never to be used again. Look at the Road Rash series or the 'Strike' games. They could EASILY make another Road Rash, but they don't. Why? Every time EA tries to do Road Rash, they set the bar too high. They keep trying to make it mind-blowing, but it doesn't need to be! The formula is very simple. (Rail Racer + Motorcycle + Fighting = Road Rash) The game never needed realistic physics or full 3D environments.

To EA, the brand name is all that matters. They don't seem to understand that brand loyalty is not blind. They know that loyalty is hard to gain, but they don't seem to realize it is very easy to lose. EA appears to believe that a brand is only valuable while it is trendy.

See, this guy perfectly illustrates my point. EA is running up against deeply entrenched, and certainly not unjustified, hatred. If EA tomorrow donated $10 million to childhood cancer treatment, the most that many gamers would give them is a grudging nod of approval, all the while threads across the internet would discuss this as just being a knee-jerk reaction by the PR department to make up for winning the Golden Poo. I'm not saying this is necessarily right, I'm saying this WOULD happen. No one would seriously believe EA if they made a genuine statement of "We can and WILL do better". They recently attempted something like that (poorly, but still) and it was critically hammered by nearly everyone, professional or otherwise.

Really, if they attempted something like an about-face even two years ago, they might have managed to do it, at the very least they would have had better resources to do it. At this point in the game the ground under their feet is breaking away, and asking them to change is asking them to take a flying leap of faith across a chasm to supposedly stable ground that they can't actually see. They're doubling down on the "Exploit the customers" option because that's the only sure thing that they can do at this point.

twm1709:
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 think George Carlin put it best:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SibF7GIOiSU

I'm thinking, if they're not mass market yet, maybe they shouldn't be a publicly traded company yet. I think a lot of why customers are so dissatisfied with them is because they've grown too large too fast and that has kind of set them in this automatic money sucking mode: loot as much $ off the customer as possible under the guise of "servicing the account."

So EA really wants to become some sort of bland fast food of the gaming industry. Cheap (or maybe not), easily and quickly digestible, but with all the emptiness such an approach brings. I guess that's fine from a moneymaking standpoint. After all, you'll never go broke finding all the ways to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

EA just shouldn't be surprised when they find their long time fans have gravitated elsewhere, like many of us already have.

CAPTCHA: Hold your tongue? I think not.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
'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"'

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

I'm thinking of it less like a soap opera, and more like a cartoon.
Maxis: "What are we going to do tonight EA?"
EA: "The same thing we do every night Maxy, try to take over the WORLD."
Just imagine them as Wile E Coyote with us/our money as the roadrunner, with ACME now being your whole-standard seller of DRM schemes and the like. Although maybe it'd be nicer to think of them as Dick Dastardly in those "Catch the Pigeon" cartoons.

It's very clear to me that the executive made these remarks with absolutely no knowledge of the technical side of things. Ever heard about a viral SmartTV app? How about a major SmartTV development firm? I certainly haven't, and with good reason: With the current software and hardware paradigms in the television industry, there are no smartTV applications that provide any kind of feature, service, or experience that is not already available without the technology.

I've taken a look into developing SmartTV applications, because I wondered about the possibility of the emerging technology becoming a widespread idea, but there are a lot of factors working against it.

-No platform interoperability: Wikipedia lists 13 current vendor-specific SmartTV platforms as notable. Every one of these companies has their own methods of developing an application for use on their system. Why should I have to design 13 versions of a program in order to saturate the market, when I can make 2 versions of an app (for Android and iOS) and have access to most of a wider market?

-Cost prohibitive: SmartTV's are still a luxury item. And with the technology/platform still in its infancy, many of the people who are able to afford one of these may not be able to use it to it's fullest extent. Everybody knows at least one rich asshole that buys every piece of new technology because they can, without actually knowing how to use any of it. That's the kind of person buying SmartTV's right now. And none of these people are going to trade in their $1,200 Samsung for some cheap Chinese piece of shit because EA (or anyone else for that matter) told them to.

-Limited client-side processing ability: Televisions, even SmartTV's, are not given powerful processors in the traditional sense. That means that most data processing would have to be done server-side. And if there's one thing that SimCity taught us, it is that EA cannot be trusted with servers.

-Input Device Inconsistencies: TV remotes are generally nonstandard, and in many cases, don't have the response time or sensitivity that any game other than a point 'n click would require. I'm not saying it would be impossible to design a better input system, or that it would be impossible to write a fun game that could use the current remote and be fun. But to do either of these would require a lot of time and effort, and from a business standpoint, there's very little profit to be made.

EA may be treating their developers better lately, but from articles like these, and the SimCity incident, it's pretty apparent that none of the executives actually LISTEN to the development staff. While development itself is a complicated process, these ideas are pretty simple.

TLDR: EA still doesn't have a clue.

EA: We're just throwing anything at the wall and seeing what sticks!

Some_weirdGuy:

He's exactly right...

Uhh, no. He's not "exactly" right.
Gaming is very much in the grip of mainstream, mass-market culture right now.

It's a very large, multi-billion dollar industry that is widely distributed industry with (effectively) global appeal.
Why he's trying to compare it to TV, I have no fucking idea except as a very awkward segway into his pitch.

As for all who are just saying they're dumb and that TV isn't a market for games: Think on this, mobile phones weren't a games market until very recently either, now they're become a multi-million dollar driving force for many studios/developers. Same with facebook before that. New markets develop based on accessibility to the masses. Television is already being tapped into through consoles, and no one here is foolish enough to state there is no market in consoles.

That's something I'd contest, because the Smart TV/Internet TV isn't really a new venture; but two old ones duct-taped together.
Not helping is that one ("Smart/Internet/Connected") is growing at the expense of the other ("TV"). Offline TV viewership is in decline in favor of online streaming sites and services. Which can be accessed by a huge number of devices in service already.

To be fair, we MIGHT see TVs adopt Connected/Smart as a standard feature waaaayyy further down the line, but right now, no. It's a fairly niche and redundant device.

That's not dumb, tv's are everywhere...

If you're talking about existing TVs, and not the kind he's talking about expanding into (Smart TVs/Internet TVs) then yes, it's dumb. It's incredibly dumb. Because those TVs are NOT AT ALL capable of delivering the kind of content EA is talking about expanding into right now.

If you're talking about Smart TVs, I'd say that's a questionable venture right now. It could work, but I'm not seeing this massive market appeal right now. He talks about people going to their TV when they put down their phones, but that is changing due to the increasing popularity of online streaming sites over traditional TV programming.

More people are going to their computers, instead of their TVs, and are treating their TVs as an expanded monitor more than anything. Hell, I could reach over and plug this laptop into the non-smart TV in front of me via HDMI right now, and get the same benefit. I have no interest in a smart TV, because it offers nothing more.

So again, I don't see the appeal he does; especially when home computers and portable media devices are already so widely distributed while providing the same access to streaming content already.

Genocidicles:

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."

image

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?

I can't tell if he's laughing or crying. :p

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