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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15 Comments

"EA CEO John Riccitello remains adamant that despite all the recent doom and gloom, the deepening recession will eventually benefit the gaming market."

Well of course, he is paid to say that, litterally! If he said, "Wow, this had a much worse impact than we expected. Our sales are the lowest they have been in the last 5 years, and we arn't seeing the numbers rise" the stock would drop 30+ %

Well of cause he is, not to mention he's under a lot of pressure from investors/shareholders to keep turning a profit or they'll pull out, he has to at least make them think everything will be ok as he doesn't want them to panic and pull out now does he? It's going to be very hard times and it's going to be interesting to see how the games industry will cope as a whole with this. Hopefully some of the bigger names don't become casualties of this (just because a company has a successful game/franchise doesn't make it immune to going under).

It has been at least 1 full year since I bought a full price video game, I did buy a EA game in December at 75% off at Meijer, however.

I have not been buying any video games lately, because I have almost 6,000 U.S.A. Dollars worth of Credit Card Debt, just fyi.

I'm hoping the tighting belts of entertainment sector leads to a return to glory days of development, not to the out-right crash. As a developer myself with an indie company, the Video game market until last year felt like it was on it's way to another arari-level crash. Over-saturation, over supply was leading corporate-makers, who were making cash hand-over-fist for practically nothing, down the same dangerous path they had trodden on before.

Since the belt tightening though, perhaps producing companies and developers themselves would be wise to sit back and think for a bit... some companies/employees may not last, but I do think a shrinking of the market might be for the best.

"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."

hmm by that theory, it means EA will probably have nothing to release since they've flushed out all of their "riffraff" they call games.

The gaming industry has gone down just like the movies/tv/music industry. It has been forever since I paid full price for a game as well. I usually get it on ebay or way till the title goes greatest hits to buy. Games are simply not worth $59.99 price, hell most arent even worth the old $49.99 price. The only thing that keeps me going is playing MMOs at least with that you do get some quality gaming. Lastly I find it odd that the CEO would talk about rifraff gaming when thats just about all EA makes. Its the same rehashed garbage year after year with a few more features. Till they do something original I dont think they can talk about anyone.

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