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Riccitiello dismisses console/mobile divide

Ex-EA CEO says "it's really a question of big screens, medium sized screens and small screens"

Former EA CEO John Riccitiello has dismissed the divide between the mobile and console gaming markets and offered his insights on successful free-to-play models.

"People keep trying to describe the mobile and console markets as entirely different. I drive a car on a freeway and in the city and I don't have one car for each," he said in a recent whitepaper from Game Monetization USA.

"It's really a question of big screens, medium sized screens and small screens as well as touch versus controller inputs. I don't think it's really so much about mobile versus console."

He highlighted the merging of the two markets, in part thanks to the ever evolving tech capabilities of tablets and phones, and suggested we'll see an increase in the number of core games headed to tablet. He also offered his insights on the right way to monetise those titles with a free-to-play model.

"Nobody feels bad about going to the bowling alley and paying for time or per game. Nobody feels bad about going to the old style arcades and paying to play," he said.

"You've got to give credit to the guys at Glu for having the crass judgment to come up with something so simple"

"A lot of games can make a player feel ripped off if the mechanic doesn't feel central to what you're trying to do or if it's pulling money away from you too fast. Arguably the worst thing is if it feels like the only thing you had to do to progress was to pay money for it. People aren't interested in just a pay mechanic, they want to enjoy the game and demonstrate some level of skill and mastery."

He cited Clash Of Clans as a game that finds a balance between paying for progress and skill and also gave a nod to Glu's recent mega hit Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. The game was the most downloaded app in July and some have predicted its income to hit around $200 million by the end of the year.

"People have been talking a lot about Kim Kardashian getting to the top. I haven't played that game but you've got to give credit to the guys at Glu for having the crass judgment to come up with something so simple and so obvious."

Looking to the future Riccitiello name-checked Oculus and multiplayer on mobile but saw this holiday season as one for the TV manufacturers.

"The biggest new platform people are going to be talking about this Christmas, and probably next Christmas is Smart TVs. Samsung, Sony, LG and many other companies are making TVs with processors in them that are powerful enough to run virtually any mobile game."

You can read the whitepaper, which also includes input from SGN's Ariel Aguirre, here.

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.

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