Electronic Arts’ game development tsar has challenged the view that social, mobile and core games play to mutually exclusive audiences.
Richard Hilleman (pictured), the chief creative offer at Electronic Arts, believes a venn diagram of casual, mobile and triple-A audiences would have many of the same people at the centre.
“One of the things that we discovered pretty early on in our experience in mobile is that some of our triple-A customers and some of our mobile customers and some of our social customers were the same person,” Hilleman told VG247.
“Just because they have a particular predisposition to play a shooter doesn’t mean they’re not interested in Farmville or vice versa. Those take place at different places in their lives, different contexts, and with different expectations.
“I question the supposition that they’re different people,” he added.
“They might be the same people living different parts of their lives. We think that distinction is important, because if people are playing many of the same games, that means that it’s possible to better understand what gameplay is available to them next.”
Hilleman, who joined Electronic Arts in 1982 as one of its first few employees, said that key EA brands must diversify for these different play styles.
“Two years ago, mobile and social were new parts of EA that were doing new things. They operated outside the current console and property oriented teams. What’s changed is that those two platforms are now fundamentally integrated into the way we manage those properties,” he said.
“So instead of seeing one big group in EA, what you’re seeing is, say, Battlefield has a mobile group and a social group, the BioWare guys have a mobile and a social group, and the sports guys have a mobile and a social group.
“And what they’re doing is pursuing the products that align with their customers and their product loads. So I’d say what you’ve seen happening in EA is the mainstreaming of social gaming.”
[Image: Phil Stral]