Guillemot defends Gameloft's principles

But is unhappy at EA's Xmas domination of App Store

Michel Guillemot, Gameloft CEO, has defended his company's policy of recycling game ideas from elsewhere in the industry, amid accusations that its games are nothing but mobile rip-offs of other established IPs such as Halo and Uncharted.

Speaking to IGN at CES earlier this month, Guillemot also expressed concern over EA's 'subsidising' a swath of price cuts at the end of 2010 which saw its titles dominating the App Store chart over Christmas.

"The videogame industry has always played around a limited number of themes. There is maybe one new idea a year," said the CEO. "If a type of game is not available, then you should make it. The damaging thing is if you do a bad expression of a good idea."

What the Frenchman does see as unfair is EA's tactical swoop in the App Store over Christmas, when the publisher discounted several key titles, many very recent, to 59p to ensure that they were on top of the list when new iOS users logged on for the first time on Christmas day.

"There is a high uncertainty for the future anytime somebody can steal the market at Christmas," he said, adding that moves like this make it "harder for small companies" and drive down prices and therefore innovation.

Gameloft's market isn't limited to Apple's devices, however. At CES the company unveiled a deal which will see in providing games for Panasonic's new range of IPTVs, enabling it to reach a potentially huge audience with its product.

"Everything that is connected and enables gaming, especially immersive gaming, is a great place for us," he told IGN, adding that "Playing on a TV without a box is weird today, not in ten years."

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Latest comments (8)

Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game7 years ago
Not sure what the problem of EA selling games for 59p is, when this seems like a very common price point on App Store, it's not as if they are charging less than anyone else, and I think the aquisition of Chillingo, who release all or most titles for 59p, may have influenced EAs sale as much as anything else.
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany7 years ago
"The damaging thing is if you do a bad expression of a good idea."

well... you know...
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Patrick Williams Medicine and Research 7 years ago
Did Guillemot just claim that lower prices drive down innovation? While the concept isn't untrue, did he really say that with a straight face? He doesn't innovate to begin with!

Its always easiest to blame other people for your problems instead of accepting that treating your customers like idiots by selling them crap is a bad idea. You'll make a sale once, but you won't build a base.

He needs to accept that the markets are changing and people actually care about quality now that its available. Angry Birds skyrocketed up the sales charts if only for lack of alternatives.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Patrick Williams on 12th January 2011 12:21pm

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Show all comments (8)
Terence Gage Freelance writer 7 years ago
I haven't played any of the games in question, but the presentation of this Shadow Guardian trailer makes it look incredibly similar to Uncharted. I mean, it's quite fair to borrow ideas if you're going to build on them or give them a unique flavour, but this really does look like it's following Naughty Dog's template a little too closely.
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Philip Wilson Project Manager/QA 7 years ago
Why is the "games are nothing but mobile rip-offs of other established IPs" statement never said about NGmoco? It could be said they their titles are more blantant ripoffs then those put out by GameLoft.
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Rick Cody PBnGames-Board Member 7 years ago
Gameloft brings games to mobile platforms before anyone else. I'd argue that putting their Uncharted-esque game on iOS is innovation since there's no real precedent as to how it's done on iDevices. That's innovation. And they don't do a bad job. NOVA isn't a horrible Halo rip-off, Modern Combat: Black Pegasus isn't a bad CoD rip-off.
As for EA's move... I like Madden 11 and playing some Need for Speed Hot Pursuit multiplayer with my nephew. It's a business, that's a great business move. Smaller companies are making games lie the just released Burn the Rope, an innovative game (even if the name isn't) that's selling well.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game7 years ago
@Richard, although technically Cut the Rope is published by EA, who bought the publisher Chillingo days after cut the rope was released
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Jed Ashforth Senior Game Designer, Immersive Technology Group, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe7 years ago
@Andrew Goodchild - 'Cut the Rope' and 'Burn the Rope' are two different games published by different companies.
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