Riccitello: Recession is a "blessing"

Although already having claimed countless jobs and even caused studio closures, EA CEO John Riccitello remains adamant that despite all the recent doom and gloom, the deepening recession will eventually benefit the gaming market.

Although January NPD were better than ever, analyst predictions that the video game industry will remain "highly recession resistant" appears to be crumbling around them.

Speaking at the D.I.C.E. Summit earlier this week, Riccitello was quick to acknowledge the casualties of the current economic climate, but offered struggling developers and publishers some stern advice of his own. "Start by deciding what's important. Invest heavily in those programs. And cut the rest," policies EA themselves look to follow in 2009 by investing in new, quality IP and gaming as a service.

Although one would think all of the sudden industry layoffs would be disheartening, Riccatello suggests otherwise. "I actually think that the economic crisis the game industry moved into in 2008 is a blessing." He hypothesizes that the crisis will flush out the gaming "riffraff", reducing the number of poorer titles on store shelves and leaving the industry leaders to move the gaming medium forward.

Whilst his 'survival of the fittest' theory does seem relevant, it does assume that only developers of poor titles will stall during the downturn.

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