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Gardner champions industry's focus on European growth

Electronic Arts' worldwide studios boss David Gardner has praised the industry's focus on games development outside of the US, stating that gaming is leading the creative industries with a emphasis on growth in European regions.

Electronic Arts' worldwide studios boss David Gardner has praised the industry's focus on games development outside of the US, stating that gaming is leading the creative industries with an emphasis on growth in European regions.

Gardner was speaking at a panel discussion held in London last night and organised by EA and BAFTA as part of the Industry Speaker series.

"If you look at other media industry's we are way ahead of those companies in Europe," he said. "We've got more offices and more direct involvement in regions than media company's that consider themselves international."

He added: "It puts an emphasis on building creative talent in all these different locations. More than half of our sales come from non-American markets which is very significant because we want to see our products played by gamers around the world, with great localised packages. And we must continue to use the worlds' best creative talent to bring the best products to consumers anywhere in the world."

Gardner sees expansion outside of the US as a sign of maturity in the industry, and he noted that recent growth in new consumers puts the games industry at the forefront of the entertainment market.

"We are fighting like crazy to be considered a real media industry contributor," he said. "I think what is most interesting is that if you look at where the growth is happening, we're a 25-year-old company but the real growth has been in the last six years."

"And that just shows you the momentum that's building in the computer gaming industry, not just unique to Electronic Arts, it shows that consumers love interacting with games and that's a very powerful thing," said Gardner.

"Sports games and franchises like The Sims are billion dollar plus businesses. We're successful in the Western markets but not so successful in the East, although I think we might be number one in the piracy charts in China," he joked.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.