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

Wednesday, 31st 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.”



  1. CPC_RedDawn

    Someone show this man Nvidia’s tech demo of Ira running on their new mobile chip then ask him what he thinks.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. DSB

    More proof that the further away you get from EA, the more sense you start to make.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. runbmp

    Its kind of funny when you think about it. The graphical race during the NES vs SEGA era kind of got us to where we are today.

    there was obviously an investment made initially but eventually new gameplay mechanics followed after the tech had worn out its graphical demo phase and focused more on new gameplay.

    Let’s move on shall we? If EA wants to keep ” innovating gameplay ” then leave them behind. Last games I played from EA where nothing short of innovative and focused more on monetizing than gameplay.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. MrWaffles

    What he’s actually trying to say:
    “There’s just so many poor folks buying shit android handsets now, we need them to buy iPhones asap, or we’ll have to get off our asses and put real effort into adapting our shitty mobile games with less fancy graphics, thus, people might notice how they suck”

    Press release translator

    #4 1 year ago
  5. RandomTiger

    He obviously doesn’t want to see the same graphics and content arms race that is crippling AAA on console.

    #5 1 year ago

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