“We’re boring people to death and making games that are harder and harder to play.” That’s what John Riccitiello, CEO of EA said to the WSJ. Sing it, Johnny.
EA, the kings of launching boring and hard video games that try to cash in on franchises and crappy movies, has finally seen the light. His criticism is nothing new. Everyone from Peter Molyneux to the drunk outside of GameStop in Trenton, New Jersey have been complaining about boring video games. However, for Riccitiello to mention it is like MacDonald’s casually mentioning that fast food is crappy.
“For the most part, the industry has been rinse-and-repeat,” he says. “There’s been lots of product that looked like last year’s product, that looked a lot like the year before.”
So what does big name complaining like this mean for the industry, especially during E3 season? Not much, really, but as we’ve seen from the Wii, the casual gaming market is huge and only growing. The industry can create huge, filmic games yet is stuck in the same molds — even the Darkness didn’t make much sense to a non-Darkness fan. The old “license a 3D modeling system, make a game with a witch or robot or something in it, sell it” isn’t cutting it anymore. Games like Zelda and Lost Planet have their place, but things need to change. My only fear is that we’ll just get more Tetris clones and less Citizen Kanes.
Interestingly, as I watch the drive to create “casual” games, I wonder if the rise of mobile gaming and the aging of the older, hardcore gamers who actually have cash and were around for the Atari 2600 have changed the dynamic of the industry. Clearly, there’s a billion younger kids out there who are happy to watch some pretty pictures, but what about the folks who have neither the time nor the energy to find every ant in Zelda. What think you?