EA's chief creative officer says their games are "too hard to learn"


EA's chief creative officer Richard Hilleman thinks the publisher's games might still be too hard for potential new players. He said as much during an on-stage interview during the DICE Summit in Las Vegas.

"Our games are actually still too hard to learn," Hilleman said, as reported by Gamespot. "The average player probably spends two hours to learn how to play the most basic game. And asking for two hours of somebody's time--most of our customers, between their normal family lives...to find two contiguous hours to concentrate on learning how to play a video game is a big ask."

Hilleman was responding to a comment made by interviewer Pete Holmes, who said he would prefer if control layouts remained consistent across games—even between those of a different series.

I'm kind of conflicted by Hilleman's statement. Sure, games require you to "learn," but so does all media—and most are created with the assumption of familiarity with both language and form. For games, though, the gulf is definitely more notable. Someone who's never played a game will struggle with the most basic interactions of moving and looking. For those who've built up that knowledge, it's second nature.

Should games do more to help those who struggle learning their key systems? As someone is often infuriated by patronising tutorials and on-screen prompts, my gut response is "no". But then, I would say that—I've played hundreds of games.

Anyway, if you think games are bad, try typing. Alt+0151 to summon an em-dash? Ludicrous.

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.