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Growth will come from bite-sized pieces, says Vrabeck

EA Casual Entertainment's president sees the future of gaming in bite-sized pieces supported by ads and microtransactions

EA Casual Entertainment president Kathy Vrabeck sees a big part of the future of the games industry in bite-sized pieces.

"I run a group within at EA called Casual Entertainment - it is purposely not named casual gaming, because we think the way you reach that next level of consumer is with entertainment experiences that probably don't relate one on one with how we think about what games are today," she told attendees at the Wedbush Morgan Securities annual Management Access Conference.

Vrabeck stated that her division experienced 80 per cent growth over the prior year, with a goal for fiscal year 2011 of USD 1 billion in revenues.

"What I'm trying to do is not only lead EA but lead the videogames industry in reaching that next level of consumer - the people that we haven't done a good job reaching: little girls, older women, older men. The people who didn't grow up with gaming and don't necessarily think that gaming is for them. So, we are looking to change that."

Vrabeck thinks that a big part of the monetisation going forward is in "bite-sized pieces" paid for by advertisers and through microtransactions.

"The kids that are growing up today are used to this model of USD 0.99 for a song instead of USD 12.99 or USD 14.99 when somebody drops a CD on a Tuesday," she said.

"As we see that group of kids become more comfortable with that model in other areas, I think it is only natural in gaming that you don't have to ask for USD 60 in the casual market. That will still be a great thing to do in the core market, but in the casual market you can look for people to try your game with USD 0.99, to try your game through gift cards and things like that, and buy in bite-size pieces. "

"I think the bite-sized pieces, the monetisation through advertising and the continued growth in mobile are going to funnel that growth."

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Mark Androvich

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