EA: "Recession is a good thing for games"

Written by Joe Martin

February 20, 2009 | 13:00

Tags: #credit-crunch #recession #redundancies #riccitiello #sales

Companies: #ea #electronic-arts

Electronic Arts has, like pretty much every company lately, suffered because of the looming recession. There's been cancelled games and redundancies a'plenty, with disappointing sales hitting the mega-publisher just as hard as everyone else.

According to EA boss John Riccitiello though, the recession may not be a totally bad thing and may actually have several benefits for gamers and the market at large.

Speaking at the DICE Summit yesterday, Riccitiello said that the recession was actually a "blessing" and that it means there'll be less rubbish on shelves for gamers.

"A lot of the riff-raff is going to go bankrupt," he said in his talk, rather abruptly. Riccitiello implied that companies that constantly churn out rubbish games would be forced out of the market as gamers got more frugal and cautious with their cash.

"Our company was too big for the current economic environment," he also said, aware that the recession would hit EA just as hard as anyone, "it was probably slowing us down."

Riccitiello finally went on to say that EA was prepared for this fact by the publishers recent re-focus on creating innovative and eye-catching titles like Mirror's Edge and Dead Space - though both of these titles have met with disappointing sales in EA's eyes. That's a shame of course; they're both rather good.

Personally, we're not so sure we agree with EA here. While a few good quality games, such as BioShock and The Orange Box are able to sell well, a quick glance at any sales chart shows that it's the Wii Fits and FIFA '09s that really shift units. Aren't these high volume, more mass market games likely to encourage other quick cash-ins? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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