EA boss: "the fastest growing platform for video games today is the PC"
EA CEO John Riccitiello has been defending a downturn in EA stock in an interview with CNBC, spotted on CVG. He addresses a "a perception among investors that the game industry is tough to invest in right now" by challenging the validity of NPD reports that only take into account boxed retail sales in the US.
He uses PC gaming as an example of how the games business is changing. "Just five years ago people said that the PC game business was in a radical state of decline because NPD said it was down 10 percent, 20 percent, 30 percent, year-in year-out," he says.
"The fastest growing platform for video games today is the PC, but it's growing through subscriptions, through micro transactions and through downloads."
Riccitiello suggests that EA are shifting from a packaged goods company to a "service business" and uses Fifa as an example. Former Fifas gained large audiences that dropped off after a month, with Fifa 12, supported regularly with new challenges and updates, "we had five million players that first week and it's now july, and we've had no fewer than four and a half million players since then."
He compares the shift in approach as a move toward "the culture of building something like a broadway play where you go on every night instead of a canned television performance that's done once and it's done."
He also suggests that EA's free to play offerings are on the grow, and hints that the move to make TOR's first 15 levels free to try has proved successful. More details are sure to arrive at EA's next earnings call at the end of the month.