Developers chasing console quality graphics on mobile without differentiating gameplay are on a road to ruin, says the former CEO of EA.
Speaking at Casual Connect, as reported by Polygon, John Riccitiello said it was a mistake to simply push for high-end visuals, as development costs could rise steeply without an increase in sales.
Highlighting the example of strategy games in the 90s using 3D graphics, the ex-EA exec said “revenue remained the same because they weren’t innovating”, despite doubling or even tripling expenditure on creating them.
"Investing in better graphics without figuring out what differentiating gameplay you’re going to have – without thinking of how gameplay rewards players – is a road to ruin," he said.
"Prettier games cost more to make, better games satisfy consumers."
Riccitiello also questioned whether developers could create long-term brands in the mobile space, and said the answer to that question was one of the key debates in the industry right now.
"You can either hope to be lucky twice, or you can figure out an answer that I think is vitally important for the health of the mobile business," he said.
"Developers need to build brands. Games that don’t build a brand will not be around in a decade. Will Clash of Clans be with us in 25 years? Madden turns 25 this year. Will Candy Crush be around next year and still be doing a few million a day?"