EA: No Conflict Between Creativity and Profitability

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Despite his company being hit hard by these uncertain economic times, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello doesn’t believe that penny pinching should compromise artistic vision.

Speaking to the Academy of Interactive Arts and Science, Riccitiello was adamant about his desire to boost the reputation of games as an artistic medium. “Some of my greatest beliefs regarding gaming are that our art form is today — or certainly has the potential — to be recognized as the peer of the best of Hollywood movies,” he said. “I want to help others see that.”

Accomplishing that mission doesn’t necessarily mean that EA will suffer financially as it tries to forward creative endeavors, however. For Riccitiello, it’s the exact opposite. “I also believe that there is no inherent conflict between great creativity and achieving strong profitability – I believe they go hand in hand,” he said. “More than trying to work on my legacy, I want to work to prove both of these points are true and see a day when these ideas are seen as common knowledge.”

Kudos to the guy for having ideals, for wanting to move this medium forward, despite the fact that – and he’ll be the first to admit to this – his investors couldn’t care less. “There is also a qualitative aspect to our industry,” Riccitiello added. “Making games we can be proud of. Pushing boundaries. As I mentioned above, I believe the quantitative and the qualitative measures go well together.”

Lofty goals for dark times, but maybe Riccitiello’s onto something though. These days when suddenly every dollar spent seems to have real consequence, videogames should give us some serious bang for their buck. An approach that has creativity and quality as its top goals may ultimately win the day because consumers, one would hope, would be hungry for more substantial or interesting experiences to give them more value for their hard-earned cash. But who knows? “The industry has gotten more complicated,” Ricitiello admitted. “But the challenge is still pretty much the same: Give consumers a great experience for their money; surprise them; make them say, ‘Wow, that was cool!'”

[Via Gamasutra]
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