EA Chief: Recession Is A "Blessing For The Game Industry"

EA Chief: Recession Is A "Blessing For The Game Industry"

image

Electronic Arts Chief John Riccitiello says the tough times facing the industry are a "blessing in disguise" because it will force a lot of "riffraff" out of business and clear the way for genuine innovation and creativity.

Speaking at the 2009 DICE Summit, Riccitiello said he believes the current economic turmoil will ultimately help strengthen and focus the industry when it finally ends. "I actually think the economic crisis that the world moved into in 2008 was a blessing for the game industry," he told the audience. "First of all, a lot of the riffraff is going to go out of business... It's hard to compete with junk especially when they're giving it away for free."

And while the "riffraff" comment might seem harsh, he saved some criticism for matters closer to home as well. "We did get fat in too many places. It seemed like anyone who could draw a guy with a gun with a crayon could get funded," he said. "At least for EA, we got a little too fat, and a little too reliant on where things were."

As a result of the soured economy, he added, that fat now has to be trimmed. His plan is simple: "Start by deciding what's important," he said. "Invest heavily in those programs. And cut the rest."

It may sound cold, particularly to EA employees who find themselves on the fatty side of the cleaver, but under the circumstances there's little Riccitiello can do but put on a brave face and try to ensure that EA comes out of the current downturn as healthy as it can possibly be. A "cull the herd" mentality may not win him many friends, at least not among people who aren't shareholders in EA, but he may have a point: Recession-driven changes in the industry may eventually prove beneficial to gamers.

Not that this is the sort of scenario he'd choose to be in, of course. "I'm not pro-recession," he added, "but to quote Rahm Emanuel, 'Never waste a crisis'."

Sources: Gamasutra, Joystiq, MTV Multiplayer

Permalink

First of all, a lot of the riffraff is going to go out of business... It's hard to compete with junk especially when they're giving it away for free."

"Hi i'm the kettle and mr pot, you sir are black!"

dude seriously this came out of EA's mouth haha, but to be fair, EA have been steadily improving over last yeah but they need to take a harder look at games, and not give us pre-packaged balls in a different wrapper

Riccitiello:
It's hard to compete with junk especially when they're giving it away for free.

Well, if you're going to compete selling junk, then yes, it is hard to compete with free.

Perhaps moving to selling.. oh, I don't know.. not junk.. would be helpful.

spyrewolf:

First of all, a lot of the riffraff is going to go out of business... It's hard to compete with junk especially when they're giving it away for free."

"Hi i'm the kettle and mr pot, you sir a black!"

quoted for truth

"Riffraff"
Translation, small companies with great ideas but not the money to realise them because of said recession and big hulks in the industry like EA stealing their thunder.
I do not like this guy.
"Clearing the way for Genuine innovation" my ass... Sports game 20XX =/= innovation.

Funny that EA is saying stuff about people making crappy games...
Hahaha..
No, actually some of the games with their name on it are fun. Battlefield and SSX Tricky come to mind immediately.

As a result of the soured economy, he added, that fat now has to be trimmed. His plan is simple: "Start by deciding what's important," he said. "Invest heavily in those programs. And cut the rest."

Lies.

His plan is - release a half-assed game, then make as much money as possible before the game starts getting bad publicity (Mirror's Edge) or they start losing fanbase (Warhammer).

As always.

That's odd, whenever one is discussing "thinning the herd" it's usually the sick and weak that die first. Then the big ones who need million dollar profits all the time. It's the small efficient creatures that can survive on reasonable profit figures in times of crisis.

Dechef:
"Riffraff"
Translation, small companies with great ideas but not the money to realise them because of said recession and big hulks in the industry like EA stealing their thunder.
I do not like this guy.
"Clearing the way for Genuine innovation" my ass... Sports game 20XX =/= innovation.

I will agree with that statement but at the same time I want to partially disagree.

I really do not get why game companies need to have such huge budgets to produce their games. I understand that games take time to make but do they should be able to compensate the lack of funds that some companies like activision blizzard or EA and think outside the box to be able to sell their game, still generate a profit and not have to sell a million copies to "break even".

Money is powerful but a solid business plan especially in this recession is critical to economic success.

Dechef:
"Riffraff"
Translation, small companies with great ideas but not the money to realise them because of said recession and big hulks in the industry like EA stealing their thunder.
I do not like this guy.
"Clearing the way for Genuine innovation" my ass... Sports game 20XX =/= innovation.

/thread

If they are giving the "junk" away for free already, it stands to reason that the economy isn't going to affect their profits very much. I think the riff-raff are going to do just fine. And as usual, JR is talking out his ass. If I were on the EA board, I'd be telling him to shut the hell up and stop talking to the press or he's outta there.

Every time this miserable excuse for a human being speaks I die a little inside.

Dechef:

"Clearing the way for Genuine innovation" my ass... Sports game 20XX =/= innovation.

Blood bowl.

OOOH YEEEAAAH.

Electronic Arts Chief John Riccitiello says the tough times facing the industry are a "blessing in disguise" because it will force a lot of "riffraff" out of business and clear the way for genuine innovation and creativity.

That is comming from the same company that releases the same 2 games every year, Madden and NHL, ok buddy stop talking out of your ass.

By the way, changing the button layout or adding one movie is not innovative at all.

I fell off my chair laughing. This guy seriously believes that he's loosing sales because people prefer indie games because they're cheaper or free? If your game is good, people will want to buy it, in increasing amounts as the price goes down. But if your game sucks and costs 60$, my friend go get raped with a sandpaper dildo.

Is this a bit ironic since EA is losing quite a lot from the recession?

I saw EA and the words "innovation and creativity" and my mind melted...

"Get rid off all the riff raff, and let EA create a gaming monopoly."

Did anyone else read that?

i think its been said enough but im gonna say it again, i couldnt bare to read it so i just read the first paragraph, i presume riffraff would be alot of indie games which, i must say, are a slight bit more innovative and creative than EA...

i mean i think i would have been mildly annoyed with anyone saying this but EA of all people, they havent come up with a new innovative and creative idea for about 10 years...

Radelaide:
"Get rid off all the riff raff, and let EA create a gaming monopoly."

Did anyone else read that?

Yup.

You know, it is actually rather irrelevant - the recession, that is. The days when small, independent companies produced wonder games are dying - next generation graphics are just too damned expensive. So we, the gamers, killed games ourselves by constantly demanding better graphics.

The funny thing is Riccitiello is correct - this recession will eliminate a lot of riffraff like, oh, I don't know, companies that cling to traditional design and distribution models hostile to their partner developers and carrying massive amounts of overhead like, oh, say, EA.

I'll say it for the over nine thousandth time: The big winners in this upcoming industry shakeout will be Valve, Stardock, and Paradox Interactive, and any company wise enough to use Steam/Impulse/GamersGate as their distribution platforms rather than signing the rights away to a publisher like EA or Ubisoft. The fact that I can get Empire: Total War off of Steam, preload it, and be playing on release day in less time than the 2 hours (counting install time and authentication and such) it would take for me to walk to Best Buy, buy the game, and go home...the future is here and I quite like it.

Estarc:
You know, it is actually rather irrelevant - the recession, that is. The days when small, independent companies produced wonder games are dying - next generation graphics are just too damned expensive. So we, the gamers, killed games ourselves by constantly demanding better graphics.

Mount & Blade, the enhanced editions of Children of the Nile and The Witcher, and Hearts of Iron 3 would like a word with you.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here