EA hopes next-gen will bring software innovation

May 27th by Dave Roberts

Electronic Arts’ European boss Gerhard Florin came away from E3 fired up by hardware potential, but still on the look out for software innovation.

Talking exclusively to MCV, he predicted that the next generation of consoles will take household penetration in PAL territories up to 50 per cent, but highlighted the lack of new genres or ideas in the early shows of software for the new systems.

“We’re going to the next step over the coming 12 months," Florin (pictured) said. "It’s as important a leap as it was when PlayStation introduced 3D and the CD era. The important thing then was that it facilitated new genres and IPs – and that’s what we’re not seeing yet this time round.

“Give the development community one or two years and then let’s see what we’ve got. Currently, it’s the same genres – driving, sports, etc. And the same mechanics – shoot and be quick with your fingers.

“The innovation will come naturally. Smaller studios who can’t do projects like The Godfather will do something different, hopefully very different.” He didn’t, however, dismiss EA’s own role in the ground-breaking stakes: “We’ll do some ourselves and pick some up.”

He also offered some views on the cost/creativity dynamic emerging in the next gen development field: “Sony says dev costs will be comparative with PS2, that sounds surprising to me. But even if costs rise, smaller teams will find a way. Emotion and character will become more important, so skills like story-telling will come to the fore.

We’re not looking at great big chunks of interactivity, we’re looking at imagination.”


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