In another “important dude said this” story, we bring you the upbeat words of EA CEO John Riccitiello in a recent interview with games industry web site, Industry Gamers. When the EA head honcho was (apparently) quizzed about his thoughts on the Wii U’s middling power and its late-ish launch, Riccitiello offered up an answer with a measure of dismissiveness about cycles and consoles in general as the digital download-only future looms. His sole surprising (and headline-worthy) statement was that consoles are only 40 percent of the total games industry now.

"I would argue that one of the least interesting things about the games industry was that every 5 years you’d see a new console or platform from everybody at about the same time with about the same or similar upgrades or services,” he said.

“You’d sort of harvest it and then it’d cycle back. We got used to it. It’s what seemed normal. But it’s not a particularly smart way to run an industry… bulges in technology investment followed by harvest.”

“And let’s be realistic. Consoles used to be 80% of the industry as recently as 2000. Consoles today are 40% of the game industry, so what do we really have?”

He, like the company he leads, is heavily invested in a digital future and, of course, his words need to reflect that. Fleshing out those thoughts, Riccitiello said that the iPad, a relatively new platform in this current generation, is the fastest growing platform that the company supports. But, he also noted that a console that marries the iPad with a console is a good move.

"We have a new hardware platform and we’re putting out software every 90 days. Our fastest growing platform is the iPad right now and that didn’t exist 18 months ago. So the idea that we’re categorizing the industry as being [cyclical]... Nintendo is off cycle with what?”

“I mean, the point of reference is gone. And so Nintendo is bringing out a new platform that brings together some of what we’re learning from new media and new platforms like the iPad and then integrating that with a console. It’s the perfect time for that in the industry".

Wait, only 40 percent? Wow — well, I mean, who doesn’t take a rational look at the industry as it is right now with all the social games and mobile titles and think, “well, I bet consoles aren’t so important now.” But 40 percent? No wonder the Wii U does what it does considering the penetration of other platforms.

Riccitiello had more to say about processing power and Nintendo, of course, but you'll have to get those words through the link.

[via Industry Gamers]

  • SMP

    If any company is going to capitalize on not just one, but all growing platforms, its EA, since theyre the only company besides Activision big enough to do that.

  • HisDivineOrder

    I just don't buy that the Nintendo Wii U is perfectly timed.  Perfectly timed would be right now before tablets get in the same price range as the console Nintendo's bringing out.  Bring it out for $300 with iPad's at $500, hey that makes a load of sense.  But bringing out late next year when the iPad is almost certainly going to have some kind of price drop that brings it down in price to compete with the other tablets that are already at $400?  Digitimes had an article about how Apple was getting more partners and going with cheaper purchases to afford cheaper prices and lower margins on the next iPad.

    So if the iPad is $400 and Nintendo's new console is $300 (since they've already dismissed the idea they'll launch the Wii U at the same $250 price point as the Wii), then consumers are going to look at all the extra functions of the iPad, the fact that you can take with you on the go (the Wii U's is bound to the console), and the fact the games will almost certainly go up to the same $60 as the rest of the industry today (or even stay at $50) and they'll say...

    "Hey, that's great, Nintendo, but man that iPad is something I can use for more than gaming.  And it's not that much more expensive.  Plus, the games are free to cheap.  Thanks... but no thanks."

    Just like they're saying to the 3DS right this very minute.  If you think the 3DS is tanking just because of its lack of games, well the release of Zelda did not cause a longterm uptick in sales on the 3DS.  Its gimmick is poorly used, its online strategy is next to nil, its games cost too much, and its touch is curiously out of date.  Compared to the cheaper iPod Touch, it just looks old.

    By next year, with the iPad possibly offering Retina HD options and cheaper prices, that 6" screen surrounded by a sea of white plastic is going to just look incredibly out of date.  And Nintendo won't be able to get any more games out for Wii U than they did for 3DS.

    If you think Nintendo will have Mario, Metroid, Zelda, and Mario Kart out the gate for Wii U on launch day or even in six months after launch day, I got a Mario-themed bridge to sell you.  It's really kinda sad.  I think Nintendo just hasn't gotten the memo.  Console gaming is dead.

    We're moving away from specialized devices-based gaming and moving back to generalized devices-based gaming again.  It's the era of PC gaming all over again.  And I, for one, welcome it with open arms.  I'm tired of the insane game prices.

    Now if Sony would just hurry up and start making Uncharted and God of War for iPad, Gameloft might even have reason to worry.  They'll have to go through their own hard transition when they launch PSP Vita and it underperforms...

    • Gamer

      how exactly are the current game prices insane, adjust for inflation games now are not more expensive than games from the NES or SNES era.
      I'm perfectly fine with console or portable game prices, yeah they cost alot more than iOS game prices but the quality are also vastly vastly superior. Game quality is much more important to me than game quantity. Given a choice I much rather pay $40 for a single AAA game than 8-10 iOS titles. My favorite titles on iOS are all ports of DS/PSP/PSX/PC (Sid Meir's Pirates, Civilization Revolution, Lego Harry Potter, GTA Chinatown Wars etc). I don't have that much free time and I'd rather spend that time playing some top notch quality games.

      You mentioned short comings for console and portables, but what about the short comings of iOS gaming!
      1. no developer is willing to invest the $$ to develop a AAA title for iOS, simply because iOS gamers expects low prices and AAA titles are not cheap to make
      2. touch screen is a terrible control scheme for a wide variety of game genres. It's only good for simple games, puzzle, and non-action RPGs.

      i have an iPhone, iPad and also an Android tablet, but these will never replace my consoles, PC or portables for gaming

    • Decoy Octopus

      "Console gaming is dead." Stupid comment.Your just 100% pro apple,that all. I'd personally rather pay the extra money and get better quality than to play the trash that currently litters apples appstore.

  • nizy

    When you think about the rest of the industry outside consoles, you have PC, mobile, social and portables (DS,PSP). I could easily see those combined making up 60% of the total.

    How many current gen consoles in total have been sold? Maybe 300m? Well there's about that many iOS and Android smartphones out there. There's about 500m Facebook users. Maybe 200m for DS and PSP. God knows how many more PCs. The market outside of console is huge in comparison.

  • Vimy

    that's the difference between number 1 and the rest. Number 1 takes the opportunities and develops them to gold, the rest complain about opportunities and demand more without earning it..

    Take2 stock holders take note.

  • Mike
  • Anonymous

    I preferred it when Toucharcade spent its time talking about iOS games rather than complaining and very poorly criticizing anything that's not on iOS.

    • Eli Hodapp

      Industry news is becoming increasingly relevant as big players get involved in iOS development. I'm sorry you don't like these stories, I suggest just keep on scrollin', we've always got plenty of iOS games on the site at all times!

      • Anonymous

        True, I just feel as if they come across as smearing. Thanks for responding.

  • Ecco6t9

    EA needs to remember that SmartPhone and Facebook gaming will have a crash and it would be wise to not put so much into both until after the crash.

    It seems more greed on EA and others part to make money today and not plan for the future. Moms will get bored/tired of buying Farmville cards, people will get annoyed when they drop $8 on an iOS game and then have to pay $6 here $5 there to complete the game.

  • Anonymous

    I just saw Zelda and I almost shat myself and then I saw the title and I was just...oh

  • Noella Licandro

    I wonder if it has anything to do with Apple opening their beta program to the public:

  • Pckid32

    I think it's exciting that the iPad is starting to grow as a gaming platform. I'm on my second iPad (iPad 2) since day one and haven't bought a PS3 game since. I look at them, then I look at the $109.00 price tag and realise I can buy 20 or more iPad games fro that. Also he mentions marrying the iPad to a console. Isn't that what the ATV2 and IOS 5 will give us?

  • Fokion

    Well, it might be just me, but I don't really see any real growth (QUALITY-WISE) in the iOS and Android gaming scene. Sure, lots of people play on their mobile devices, but the experiences offered are so... throw-away for lack of a better word. Not that that matters, though, it's the profits that count. On mobile, you can churn out games with minimal budgets and get a good ROI.

    At least someone should make companies focus on what really works for touch devices. I mean, where's Magic DOTP? Where's Skulls of the Shogun, From Dust or stuff like that? Dunno, I'm very disappointed with the games on offer. PQ2 and point-and-click adventure ports can only go so far...

  • Michael A. Robson

    F*ck yea

  • Michael A. Robson

    F*ck yea

  • Michael A. Robson

    F*ck yea

  • Hampus

    Well that is all fine and dandy...
    Now let's see some high quality games EA!

    You could start with a new Command and Conquer game, this time, add more strategy, Red Alert for iOS is laughable even compared to Red Alert on PC :p