Former EA CEO says the industry will soon tire of profit-driven clones

Riccitiello: Industry has ‘too many opportunists’

Former EA CEO John Riccitiello has spoken out against those who enter the industry simply to profit off of cloned games.

Riccitiello spoke at Casual Connect yesterday about the problems with trying to push console production values on mobile games, and shortly afterwards spoke to GamesIndustry International.

"What I don’t like in the games industry today is that there are too many opportunists who are there to make money," said Riccitiello.

He named a few industry members, Zynga CEO Don Mattrick and BioShock creator Ken Levine, as people he thinks are driving the industry forward, but said that there are too many who are overly concerned with profit.

“I’m going to be cynical for a minute,” he began.

“I find this terribly hilarious – you talked about game companies, things you write about on the website, these game companies who are going to create the next generation of new ideas, they’re all about fun etc. And they’re working on a Puzzles and Dragons rip-off, except they’re going to change one of the colors to blue.

“I mean, wait a minute. Are you in this because you want to create something or does it look like the easiest way to make money is to take one of the top-ten games and tweak it?"

That urge to create is what Riccitiello says should be the main reason for entering the games industry, but the fact that it’s a business means that sometimes games are funded simply because they sound profitable.

"One of the reasons we’re seeing a lot of stuff that looks alike and plays alike is because that’s how a lot of stuff gets born. It gets funded that way," he explained.

"I think we’re going to start seeing a lot more differentiation as people get bored of seeing the same apps in the top 200. They’re going to come at it and realize that if you don’t make a fundamentally different product then it’s very difficult to replace something that’s up there with your own original design."

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