Riccitiello: “consequences are huge” for triple-A failure, industry “driven by top 50”

By Stephany Nunneley
31 July 2013 20:52 GMT

John Riccitiello has said the inherent nature of a hits-driven business means a publisher which is successful now, can go under rather quickly, because that just the nature of triple-A development and being “driven by top 50.”

Speaking in a wide-ranging interview with GI International, the former EA CEO said because of such a focus by the larger publishing firms, it makes it harder for them to try anything relatively new like the indies are doing.

“We’re driven by top 50. The indie movement, I hate to say this, but you go to a lot of indie conferences and the numbers are really small,” Riccitiello said. “And people are doing it out of love, not business economics. And I’m in this industry for the love of it, but the fact is that the top 50 are getting bigger and bigger and bigger and I think they’re going to absorb the lion’s share of the business on mobile, just like they have on console and on other formats.

“And then the question is how do we build products that serve that intelligently? I don’t know that in mobile we’ve got a pattern; we think we’ve got a pattern but we’re only a few years old.

“The consequences are huge. If Ubisof fell on Assassin’s or Activision gets the lead on shooters taken away by EA, that’s going to be cataclysmic, and there’s going to be huge issues there. I mean what do you think GungHo will do if Puzzles & Dragons fades?”

Riccitiello said companies need to realize there is more to game design that “resource management around the money that you put into a game,” in order to create satisfying entertainment.

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