Riccitiello: The console cycle has gone forever

It may be the case that new hardware is in the works at both Sony and Microsoft, but EA CEO John Riccitiello thinks that the console cycle as we know it is well and truly over.

Most of us recognize that the industry has radically changed and the pace of change has accelerated dramatically,” he told investors, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha. Gone forever is the four-to-five year console cadence that gave developers ample time to invest and retool for the next big wave.

Consider that just 18 months ago, there was no iPad, Google was just experimenting with Android and most big games were limited to a single revenue opportunity at launch. Consider that each of the major consoles now has a controller that encourages users to get off the couch and get into the action.

On smartphones and tablets like the iPhone and iPad, the top paid apps are all games. Recognize that the fastest-growing revenue streams for console, PC, smartphones and tablets are all digital, and that EA is partnering with its retail and platform partners to help jointly grow these digital revenue streams.

While the game industry has fundamentally changed, games are reaching a far larger audience base than ever before.”

And of course, Riccitiello argues that since his return to the company he has been focused on repositioning EA to take charge in this new market.

We’re building the strength of our most important IP. And for EA, this means about a dozen very substantial IPs,” he added. Each of these will be transformed into year-round businesses with major packaged goods launches, social launches, mobile launches, downloadable content and micro-transactions.

Also, we are working to establish EA as a platform, while maintaining a strong partnership with key retailers, both retail and digital retailers. GameStop, with 11.5 million registered users of their PowerUp Rewards program, is proving to be one of our best partners in digital.”

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