EA CEO talks game prices, media and failures

eaubisoftEA’s CEO John Riccitiello gave a speech at Berkeley’s School of Business about creativity in the gaming industry. A recap on Tech Daily mentions that the CEO is shifting EA’s focus to developing its own games — for example, EA is all set to acquire BioWare and Pandemic Studios. In light of these events, Riccitiello discussed game pricing, the media’s portrayal of video games and some of EA’s past mistakes.

Regarding game pricing, Riccitiello is critical of the gaming industry’s business model and said that it’ll suffer unless a reevaluation occurs. Think about it, how long will gamers pay $60 for a video game? He believes that the model will become obsolete in the near future.

"In the next five years, we’re all going to have to deal with this. In China, they’re giving games away for free. People who benefit from the current model will need to embrace a new revenue model, or wait for others to disrupt."

Secondly, Riccitiello talked about the media’s portrayal of video games, especially in the negative light. He blames the media for characterizing video games as more violent than shows on TV.

"Our industry is exceptionally well-controlled. Every game gets rated. The desire by the media to censor games amazes me."

Lastly, Riccitiello admited some of EA’s past failures — notably Majestic. Heck, I remember reading in PC Gamer back in 2001 that it was supposed to change online spy games. Unfortunately, it tanked… big time.

"It was a great idea, but it was way ahead of its time. We spent several hundreds of millions and frankly, when it failed it took a little bit of me with it. EA’s investors weren’t going to wait five years to see it right. I had to admit my mistake and move on."

Intriguing, especially about game prices. Since I only play PC games, I get the usual $10 off. How do you folks pay $60 for a game every time? That’s crazy.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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