Close
Report Comment to a Moderator Our Moderators review all comments for abusive and offensive language, and ensure comments are from Verified Users only.
Please report a comment only if you feel it requires our urgent attention.
I understand, report it. Cancel

EA CEO says decline of social games overhyped

EA CEO says decline of social games overhyped

Fri 19 Oct 2012 9:54pm GMT / 5:54pm EDT / 2:54pm PDT
Free-to-PlaySocial

John Riccitiello says the big lesson from current crisis is "consumers won't pay for crap"

Zynga's much publicized struggles of late have some investors questioning the future of the social gaming market, but Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello believes the current pessimism in the market is a bit much. According to an AllThingsD report, Riccitiello used his keynote address at the App Conference today to say the social gaming market is not dying, but it is changing.

"The companies that are now suffering will have another day," Riccitiello said, adding that the future of the social market will be built on great games. He namechecked Backflip Studios' Dragonvale and EA's own The Simpsons Tapped Out as examples of quality games, and said the biggest lesson to come from the sector's current struggles is, "consumers won't pay for crap."

According to AppData, Electronic Arts has just one Facebook app in the social network's top 50 app rankings. That app is The Sims Social, ranked 35th with 10.7 million monthly active users. Zynga's The Ville, the game EA alleges is a copyright-infringing clone of The Sims Social, is ranked 20th, with 18.7 million MAUs.

9 Comments

Pier Castonguay Programmer

189 106 0.6
Probably something they should think about before releasing another low quality game like Battlefield Play4Free or C&C:Tiberium Alliance.. or pretty much everything on their Play4Free website.

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Chris Murphy Community & Live Manager, Ubisoft

46 17 0.4
To be fair, both Lord of Ultima (developed by Phenomic who also make Alliances) and TIberium Alliances have been some of the highest quality titles released in their genre at the time. Unfortunately, both IPs introduce differing gameplay expectations that don't reflect the gameplay found within their respective titles. That combined with the fact that browser based strategy genre (specifically looking at games like Travian and its ilk) doesn't receive the same kind of attention from the mainstream gaming media as shooters, racers, or even RTS', means that you have people coming from an RPG/RTS background being disappointed by BBS gameplay. However, the games have been received quite well by those in the BBS communities, despite stereotypical reservations about a major publisher in what is predominantly an indie dominated genre.

So, while the wider gaming audience may not enjoy the gameplay found within games of a genre that they don't find engaging, many of those who do enjoy that genre, find the games to be of a pretty high quality.

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Barrie Tingle Live Producer, Maxis

400 219 0.5
The biggest drawback of social games is that you need Facebook (I deleted my account long ago).
When it comes to games from EA they could just as easily be put on Pogo as well as Facebook and allow players to login with Origin accounts.

One of the best games I have played recently is The Simpsons Tapped Out on my iPad and iPhone but still, I'd love to be able to continue my game in a web browser when it is available to me and not require Facebook access.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Feri Zsolnai 3D All-rounder and Designer

8 0 0.0
I am amazed at the amount of arrogance that comes out the mouths of leaders of EA. I am just amazed.

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
@Barrie Tingle
You can do social game without Facebook. You can use email and Twitter, for instance, as well. And Apple Game Centre or Steam if you are single platform. There are many other publisher solutions that are evolving rapidly, I know this because we have one at Kwalee and already we are integrating server data with our website.

Continuing mobile games on your desktop is part of what Windows 8 will easily allow. However you are then limited to MS platforms. Doing it cross platform will come but requires publisher investment and evolution from current solutions.

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
To be fair to John Riccitiello he talks the talk very well and often makes incisive comment. EA own Playfish, Chillingo, ESN, PopCap, J2Play, ThreeSF, SingleShot Media etc etc so have a huge presence in this space.

Kristian Segerstrale is now the top person at EA in this area (EVP digital) and he is a very sharp cookie indeed.

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Aleksi Ranta Product Manager - Hardware

292 154 0.5
@Bruce
Regarding your comment to Barry, its true there are a million options to use other than facebook, but that is part of the problem not the solution. People just want to use the content, irregardless of the platform they use. Someone, who can clearly solve that problem will have a field day in the social space, any content, any platform, in any space. Thats the grail, not the 10īs of available options.

Posted:2 years ago

#7

Barrie Tingle Live Producer, Maxis

400 219 0.5
@Bruce Everiss
True, there are games like that but there are also those ones blocked off for Facebook use only which to me seems only as a way to limit your potential market. Yes Facebook has the user numbers but not everyone (like myself) wants to use it.

EA is well placed to do cross platform work with Origin now being on PC, consoles and mobile. Within the limits of 1st party rules on cross platform games EA could do it all now. Mobile and web shouldn't be a problem as it is, the consoles are another beast :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Barrie Tingle on 22nd October 2012 6:02pm

Posted:2 years ago

#8

Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany

846 732 0.9
I believe Riccitiello when he says that "consumers won't pay for crap", his company learned that the hard way and we all saw how they tried to change it. By that time great projects like Mirror's Edge, Dead Space or Dragon Age began to appear.

The biggest problem right now with social games is that, for each original idea, you have 25 other games ripping off the concept. You even have companies, like Gameloft, that they even do a living out of it. Creating something different that calls people's attention is what at the end will make you shine over competitors.

I could use as an example the games we do here at BlueByte. Why do the same others do when you can jump a step ahead and do things like "The Settlers Online"?

Posted:2 years ago

#9

Login or register to post

Take part in the GamesIndustry community

Register now