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EA a "distant number two" in social gaming says John Riccitiello

EA boss admits that EA must put more focus on social gaming scene

While the publisher might be ranked number two in gaming on Facebook, EA admits that this second place position is still very much a disappointment to the company. EA CEO John Riccitiello believes that EA needs to put more time and effort into the social gaming business, admitting that the company has struggled in that regard.

"When it comes to Facebook, while we're number two, I'd say we're a distant number two. I mean, the other guys have lapped us three times," said Riccitiello, referring to FarmVille developer Zynga. EA has been seeing positive growth with their Sims Social title, but Riccitiello believes that there is much to be done to fully embrace social gaming.

He says that the focus needs to remain on providing entertainment, rather than a data-driven experience. He says of the competition, "They're not really in the entertainment business. I think that will eventually die. Consumers want to be entertained; they don't want to be data managed."

Even though he critiques the big-data approach to gaming, EA has apparently been working to turn Zynga's approach to a gaming-centric big-data game creation design. EA's new chief technology officer, Rajat Taneja, says that the approach will "apply techniques like machine learning and neural nets, to figure out what will happen next so that we can tailor the game and experiences to delight our customers."

Regardless, Riccitiello offers his thoughts as the CEO on the future of EA: "We would like to be number one in every possible area, in every geography. That's a grand ambition. We're not there yet."

[via Morning Edition at NPR]

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Ben Strauss: Ben Strauss is a recent graduate of Xavier University. You can see him ramble on about gaming, gamification, military-related gaming and manly things on his Twitter @Sinner101GR.
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