Riccitiello: Creativity and profit go hand in hand

John Riccitiello, the boss of US publishing giant EA, is back on the quality bandwagon after telling The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences that the quest for profitable games in no ways jeopardises the quality of titles being released.

Some of my greatest beliefs regarding gaming are that our art form is today – or certainly has the potential – to be recognised as the peer of the best of Hollywood movies,” Riccitiello stated. I want to help others see that. I also believe that there is no inherent conflict between great creativity and achieving strong profitability – I believe they go hand in hand.

This is a business and much of our success will be measured with a calculator – sales, revenue, profit and improving shareholder value. There is also a qualitative aspect of our industry. Making games we can be proud of. Pushing boundaries. I believe the quantitative and the qualitative measures go well together.”

Riccitiello also went on to criticise members of the industry who themselves do not play games – though there’s no way of knowing whether the statement was a veiled dig at famous non-gamer and Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick:

I think everyone in the industry should be playing games as readily as they watch TV or go to the movies. If you don’t play games, you should be in another industry. Can you imagine a Hollywood exec not watching movies or a book publisher that doesn’t read?”

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