The CEO of Electronic Arts John Riccitello believes that the US film industry is ‘worried’ by the release of games releases – and that the greatest console titles will soon be viewed by almost everybody as being as important as Best Picture at the Academy Awards”.
He also forecasts that over two billion people around the world are gamers – and that Hollywood is particularly worried” about the impact of GTA IV’s release later this month.
According to an interview with the Financial Times, Riccitiello had ‘just come out of a meeting with film executives – that has not gone according to the script.’
He told the newspaper:
"The buzz in Hollywood, which I heard from some Hollywood folks . . . is people are worried whether Iron Man the movie is going to get killed by Grand Theft Auto the game," says the chief executive of Electronic Arts, the world’s biggest video game publisher.
"I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that before."
"There is more interest today from Hollywood to make movies out of our games than there is interest in our industry to make games out of their movies. There’s a big reset happening now. The rate of change in this industry is massive.”
Riccitiello went on to point out that a decade ago, most consumers view games as toys, whilst today’s market sees them as a viable entertainment medium.
He also commented: "It feels like what movie moguls might have seen in the 1920s and said: ‘Hey, we’ve got talkies now, where is it going?’ I feel like we’ve stepped through a time window where our games are so compelling and seem so real.
"Our industry is passing through a phase where I believe the greatest games will be viewed by almost everybody as being as important as Best Picture at the Academy Awards."