Focusing on mobile graphics is “a road to ruin”, says former EA exec

Wednesday, 31 July 2013 00:17 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The mobile graphics arm race isn’t going to help developers become profitable, former EA CEO John Riccitiello has warned.

Speaking with Polygon, that during his time at EA, heard heard many mobile developers highlight console-quality graphics as their main selling point, which he said is a mistake.

He compared the push for better graphics on mobile to way strategy games embraced 3D graphics in the 1990’s, hugely increasing development costs without growing the audience to sustain them.

“Investing in better graphics without figuring out what differentiating gameplay you’re going to have – without thinking of how gameplay rewards players – is a road to ruin,” he said.

“Prettier games cost more to make. Better games satisfy consumers.”

Riccitiello urged developers to think about how more powerful devices enable unique gameplay opportunities, not just shinier graphics and an extra layer of polish on existing ideas.

“Incremental innovation isn’t going to cut it anymore on mobile,” he said.

“The next hits are going to come from fundamental innovation.”