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EA: "Recession is a good thing for games"

EA: "Recession is a good thing for games"

According to Electronic Arts' John Riccitiello, the coming recession can only be a good thing for gamers.

Electronic Arts has, like pretty much every company lately, suffered because of the looming recession. There's been cancelled games and redundancies a'plenty, with disappointing sales hitting the mega-publisher just as hard as everyone else.

According to EA boss John Riccitiello though, the recession may not be a totally bad thing and may actually have several benefits for gamers and the market at large.

Speaking at the DICE Summit yesterday, Riccitiello said that the recession was actually a "blessing" and that it means there'll be less rubbish on shelves for gamers.

"A lot of the riff-raff is going to go bankrupt," he said in his talk, rather abruptly. Riccitiello implied that companies that constantly churn out rubbish games would be forced out of the market as gamers got more frugal and cautious with their cash.

"Our company was too big for the current economic environment," he also said, aware that the recession would hit EA just as hard as anyone, "it was probably slowing us down."

Riccitiello finally went on to say that EA was prepared for this fact by the publishers recent re-focus on creating innovative and eye-catching titles like Mirror's Edge and Dead Space - though both of these titles have met with disappointing sales in EA's eyes. That's a shame of course; they're both rather good.

Personally, we're not so sure we agree with EA here. While a few good quality games, such as BioShock and The Orange Box are able to sell well, a quick glance at any sales chart shows that it's the Wii Fits and FIFA '09s that really shift units. Aren't these high volume, more mass market games likely to encourage other quick cash-ins? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

15 Comments

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UrbanMarine 20th February 2009, 14:20 Quote
lol. EA games are the rubbish on the shelves. Only if the games had length and replay value. The last few years singleplayer wise, I've found myself beating a game over a weekend.
B1GBUD 20th February 2009, 14:20 Quote
Quote:
"A lot of the riff-raff is going to go bankrupt," he said in his talk, rather abruptly. Riccitiello implied that companies that constantly churn out rubbish games would be forced out of the market as gamers got more frugal and cautious with their cash.

Err.... isn't he talking about EA here?
chrisb2e9 20th February 2009, 14:24 Quote
+1 for both comments above. Indi developers can put out some really good games. EA is just a cash cow company in my mind.
lewchenko 20th February 2009, 14:35 Quote
Love the photo. It reminds me of days of old where computer shops sold both computers (Amiga/Atari/8 bit stuff etc) plus shelves of game boxes... It was like a trip to the candy store when I was a lad.

Now back to the comments... its a perfect example of pot calling kettle black (EA talking about riff raff). EA sold its reputation long ago when it repeatedly spewed out sequel sports crap year after year and left the only sequel that anybody cared about in limbo... As this is an EA post Im obliged to bring up Battlefield 3 !
ohdarklord 20th February 2009, 15:24 Quote
I didn't think about it to now but me losing my job and not being able to afford new games really does help the games market.
naokaji 20th February 2009, 15:25 Quote
Quote:
Riccitiello said that the recession was actually a "blessing" and that it means there'll be less rubbish on shelves for gamers.

Or more rubbish as even more companies will go the EA route and only look for the quick buck.....

I think it's more a chance for indie games than for companies like ea, why? indie games are usually far cheaper than full price games and more innovative, so essentially better value per £.
delriogw 20th February 2009, 18:41 Quote
if riff-raff means the small companies and independents churning out some spectacular games then yeh they probably will go under, more's the pity.

bang goes innovative games, and we'll be left with the EA franchised repetitiveness
DarkLord7854 20th February 2009, 20:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by delriogw
if riff-raff means the small companies and independents churning out some spectacular games then yeh they probably will go under, more's the pity.

bang goes innovative games, and we'll be left with the EA franchised repetitiveness

No but remember, EA is innovative too! With 2 original titles it's produced in the past er.. couple years.. Mirror's Edge and Dead Space :)

Is it me or does EA keep throwing up both those games as a shield/excuse/reason? Practically every interview I read from EA mentions those 2 games.. it's kinda pathetic
benjamyn 20th February 2009, 20:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkLord7854


Is it me or does EA keep throwing up both those games as a shield/excuse/reason? Practically every interview I read from EA mentions those 2 games.. it's kinda pathetic


Well they were both recieved really well and sold really well. They tried something new and it worked well for them. but hey you're right that's dumb speaking about success with original games, why don't they just keep speaking about Fifa and Need for speed?

I like EA these days, they've got a bit to go yet but they're definately improving.
I've really liked all these titles released by them recently to name a few:

Burnout paradise - Brilliant game, it's had AMAZING support even uptil now a year after release
Dead spce - Great game, looks to be a promising new series (except the wii version...)
Mirror's edge - Also looks like it could be a great series, had some cool DLC just released.
Rockband 1 + 2 - superb dlc catalogue, much much better than guitar hero since neversoft took over. My only complaint being European delays/pricing
Skate 1/2 - Both brilliant games, thats 2 genres EA > Activision in! haha

They've recently split up the need for speed series, which could be a good or bad thing, time will tell.
Otto69 20th February 2009, 22:04 Quote
"A lot of the riff-raff is going to go"

Riccitello is going to quit?
Marc5002 21st February 2009, 00:41 Quote
Recession is never good cause : Recently in canada as from otctober 2008 :price of video game increase by +5$ As max cap
44,99$CAD (PC game) (Xbox 360 game 64,99$ CAD If you don't call that economy problems ? i don't know what it is

Because since February first Week : (Fallout 3 was 49.99$CAD) (now 59,99$CAD) Call of Duty modern warfare PC & 360 Version +10$ Which did result 49.99$ Go to 59.99$ for PC & 59.99$ go to 69.99$ For Xbox 360

No new Where Offical said on internet about this Recession in canada which would increase The Cost to gamer by +20% for video game how ever it did happen as i was here Checking Regulary Price of PC HARDWARE / Video game
And Saw a rise in price I wasn't happy but it did happen

I don't know what caused this usa Recession ? canada recession ? something else. id really like to know it origin of this price
If you where Canadian gamer since 2001+ You should know 59.99$ was price of all thing in that time but just as we got in 2008 we went to the close as price of USA Pay for there game which being a Golden age for Canadian Gamers
Game at Good Price Finally and now it over we back to the old time where we pay 20% more just like those 7 Past Year
Nicb 21st February 2009, 19:45 Quote
I'm ready for quality not quantity! They should learn from Valve. Or Indie game makers. 98% on the market including EA today suck.

But I fear it might do the opposite too and just force a quick buck market instead.
Timmy_the_tortoise 22nd February 2009, 14:42 Quote
In recent years I think the quality of EA's output has increased dramatically. It's been tough for them to shake off their old image of releasing the same crap with a different number on the end of the title, but I think they've managed it.

Some of these comments have been rather unfair.
UrbanMarine 23rd February 2009, 14:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc5002

Recession is never good cause : Recently in canada as from otctober 2008 rice of video game increase by +5$ As max cap
44,99$CAD (PC game) (Xbox 360 game 64,99$ CAD If you don't call that economy problems ? i don't know what it is

Because since February first Week : (Fallout 3 was 49.99$CAD) (now 59,99$CAD) Call of Duty modern warfare PC & 360 Version +10$ Which did result 49.99$ Go to 59.99$ for PC & 59.99$ go to 69.99$ For Xbox 360

*snip*

How are they able to raise the price of games. Usually the industry sets a certain price $49.99, $59.99 etc. Raising the fixed (release day cost) price I thought violated a trade agreement. The gaming industry (Dev/Publishers) sets the prices not the retail shop.

Note: This doesn't apply for everything.
benjamyn 23rd February 2009, 17:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
In recent years I think the quality of EA's output has increased dramatically. It's been tough for them to shake off their old image of releasing the same crap with a different number on the end of the title, but I think they've managed it.

Some of these comments have been rather unfair.

Finally! Someone who agrees with me.

Activision are the new EA now, EA are actually improving and looking to be a respectable company.

Trailer for a new EA game "Dante's Inferno" by the dead space team

If Dead space, burnout paradise, mirror's edge, skate, boom blox and rock band are anything to go by it's that EA definately have changed.

Will be interesting to see how they handle those new Need for speed games they announced
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