John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

EA CEO: Fastest Growing Game Platform Didn’t Exist 18 Months Ago

The small-screen game war has grown into an industrywide battle, one in which Apple is doing quite well, according to EA CEO John Riccitiello, who says that smartphones and tablets have “radically changed” the gaming space.

“We have a new hardware platform and we’re putting out software every 90 days,” Riccitiello told IndustryGamers. “Our fastest growing platform is the iPad right now and that didn’t exist 18 months ago. … Consoles used to be 80 percent of the industry as recently as 2000. Consoles today are 40 percent of the game industry.”

An interesting observation coming from the CEO of one of the biggest games publishers in the world. It seems that iOS and the devices that run it have indeed created pricing and customer migration pressure for the traditional gaming platforms whose proprietors initially dismissed them.

As Riccitiello observed during EA’s Wednesday earnings call: “Gone forever is the 4- to 5-year console cadence that gave developers ample time to invest and retool for the next big wave. Consider that just 18 months ago, there was no iPad, Google was just experimenting with Android and most big games were limited to a single revenue opportunity at launch. Consider that each of the major consoles now has a controller that encourages users to get off the couch and get into the action. On smartphones and tablets like the iPhone and iPad, the top paid apps are all games.”

Which is true, I suppose. That said, smartphones and tablets do seem to cater more to casual gamers than hardcore ones these days. But continuing enhancements in processing power and graphics and further hardware improvements should make them more appealing to the latter crowd in the future.

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