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Tuesday, July 10, 2007
EA CEO Blasts Lack Of Innovation In Game Industry
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 5 comments

In a recent interview Electronic Arts' CEO John Riccitello warned that game makers risk losing their audience if they fail to create innovative products and push beyond traditional game consumers to attract "casual" gamers. Riccitello cited the industry's reliance on old formulas and sequel releases as examples of game development stagnation.

"We're boring people to death and making games that are harder and harder to play," Mr. Riccitiello said in an interview.

The blunt comments by the 47-year-old Mr. Riccitiello -- a former top executive at EA who returned to the company after a stint in private equity -- are likely to cause a stir at the annual E3 games conference this week in Los Angeles. Many of his criticisms have been articulated by analysts and others, but rarely have they been made so publicly by the head of major videogame company. They are a departure for EA management, which in the past has played down its challenges.

Mr. Riccitiello praises some new games, including Activision Inc.'s Guitar Hero series and Vivendi SA's online World of Warcraft, as well as a music game by Viacom Inc.'s MTV called Rock Band, which EA will distribute. But he says there aren't enough titles that break new ground. He said he believes making sequels is still a sound strategy, as long as they are more innovative than in the recent past.

"For the most part, the industry has been rinse-and-repeat," he says. "There's been lots of product that looked like last year's product, that looked a lot like the year before."
Read the rest of the interview at the link below.

Wall Street Journal: EA Chief Cites Need For More Innovative Games
Electronic Arts

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