Gaming isn't mass market, says EA

Chief creative officer Richard Hilleman says closest industry has come to mass market is social and mobile genres.

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Gaming is not mass market, though that could change one day. That's according to Electronic Arts chief creative officer Richard Hilleman, who told GamesIndustry International that television is the sector that drives the most demand.

"We have to make sure that game companies know what a mass market really is. We're not one yet," Hilleman said. "The closest thing we've had to a mass market, frankly, has been the social and mobile spaces."

"From my perspective, television is the mass market and we're the fringe," he added. "The challenge in front of us is does the customer think about it that way? Do they see us as so distinct we can't merge those two experiences?"

Hilleman explained that the game industry has a few lessons to learn about communicating with large audiences, the first of which is to steer clear of segmenting games into groups that are "too small to be relevant." Doing so puts companies at risk of losing player attention, he argued.

The connected TV experience is appealing to EA because of its mass market opportunities, Hilleman said. The TV is where gamers go when they put down their mobile devices, he said, making the platform an attractive business opportunity for the company.

Discussion

259 comments
91210user
91210user

Oh WOW! Didn't everyone figure this out when Wii's were being unused back in 2009 and the trendy music market like Guitar Hero and Rock Band got bored back in 2010? This EA statement sounds like a waste of space to me!

Now EA wants credit for telling everyone about the 'mass market'. What a joke!

lewishim666
lewishim666

I like the fringe. If videogames go the way of movies I will never buy a videogame ever again after the point that the videogames industry is "mass market" enough for this guy. I like being surprised by my games. I don't want games to be like movies where there is literally not a single creative movie in recent memory. Movies suck now a days because studios are too worried about making money to actually put out something good and put effort forth. That's why there are HIGHLY overpaid actors(?) staring in some kind of mindless-craptacular-bore-fest literally EVERY week. I would expect no less from this greedy asshole for him to say that the multi-billion $$$ videogame industry isn't mass market. It most definitely is mass market just because it's not as big as some of the other industries with employees (actors, sports players, etc...) with SEVERELY bloated salaries doesn't mean it's not a mass market. Millions of people play games. This guy is a complete idiot. He wants to merge tv and videogames? that is the most stupid thing i've ever read. Games are already like an interactive tv show or movie. What more does he want? To make games just cutscenes without  any button presses at all? Or maybe 5 mins of advertisements for every 10 mins of game played? Then he goes on to say that devs need to steer clear of lumping games into groups that are too small to be relevant? Oh wait that's the most stupid thing i've every read. So he is basically saying that he wants to make all games even more derivative? What does he want games that have every genre all in one? I know how about we make that game that has all genres in one and every cliche that was ever thought of and keep putting it out every year and only update the graphics a little each time. Would that be broad enough for this douchebag? This guy is the biggest fool/tool i've ever heard about. I really hope he isn't married and have kids. People like him should not be allowed to reproduce. He already has more money then he could ever spend but EA still isn't making enough money. By his standards I guess the game industry isn't a mass market until all devs and publishers have not only more money then they can even spend but they have to have so much money that there is literally none left for the middle and lower class citizens so the US government will have to print more money just so there is enough to go around and they further reduce both the meaning and value of the american dollar. Good thing we aren't on the gold standard anymore or this asshole would be broke. oh wait...

jadaski1
jadaski1

If EA is our "mass market future" then I'm okay with the fringe.

CaptWaffle
CaptWaffle

EA seems to have some fascination with shooting themselves in the foot OVER and OVER and OVER..... but lets not get on the "ALL BIG COMPANIES ARE BAD" roll again.  Argh.... drives me nuts when people automatically assume that giant companies that, I dunno, keep paychecks coming to MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS of people while doing well enough to still exist year after year after year are all inherently evil for some reason.  Companies are like people; there are good ones, bad ones, crazy ones, genius ones...... but this "Lets bash business because they don't care about little ol' me!" trend is just getting nuts.  

I'm not sure what to think about EA..... whoever is guiding the rudder at that place has some strange ideas (to put it kindly).... and this fascination with "Social" games and games on people's cell-phones.... maybe they'll be the biggest thing ever but I somehow doubt people will give up their "Sitting on couch eating candy playing games on a big-ass TV" in lieu of playing a 3$ farming game where you have to pay $.50 to buy extra carrot seeds.... and doing so on a 3" screen.

jareed
jareed

Worst company in America, ladies and gentlemen.

Hidden_Adept
Hidden_Adept

Too many shareholders at game companies like EA who don't give a shit about games and only want to see bigger profit margins.

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

This is a stream of pure babble. It doesn't make much sense.

ApocaLeepse
ApocaLeepse

And they wonder why they keep getting voted Worst Company in America...

shruteshkumar
shruteshkumar

Basically "The industry needs to dumb down its games more so that anyone who does not even know what a controller does should be able to play the game, then we will be mass market!"

And obviously intelligent thinking games series like Civilization, Witcher and proper RPGs (not ARPGs) are "too small to be relevant."

Honestly a better marketing strategy for EA would be to zip up and not say anything at all, EVER!


Eric8315
Eric8315

Call of Duty is mass market.  The Sims is/was mass market.  Mario is/was mass market.  The Zelda series was once considered mass market.  GTA is mass market.  Madden is mass market.  Assassin's Creed is mass market.  WoW is mass market.  Even Final Fantasy 7 was mass market.  Pac Man was mass market.  EA are stupid.  Games are already mass market and have been for a long time.  That's too fucking bad that they're not mass market enough for EA, but they are mass market.  And that's ironic, one of the most successful game publishers in the world, who sell millions of games, complaining that games aren't popular enough.  The irony.  What is wrong with these people?

And EA still doesn't get it.  People don't like your stupid fucking opinions and "ideas" about gaming, OK?  This is why you've been voted worse company for 2 years in a row, and your CEO just resigned.  People want you to go away.  Just die EA, please.  We don't like you.  Fuck off, you stupid assholes.  Eat shit and die, EA.  Please, fuck off.

Ghostryder371
Ghostryder371

And this is a perfect example of  why EA were voted Worst Company in America. Again.

lewishim666
lewishim666

He sounds like a Greedy bastard to me.

Reuwsaat
Reuwsaat

Somewhere else. Go rot there.

Geon106
Geon106

I think gaming is pretty mass market now. If you include mobile and social gaming. Okay it isn't as mass market as say, television. But I tend to play games more than watch TV these days so swings and roundabouts.

handofkain
handofkain

Oh my, I guess they're trying to produce interactive movies instead of games. They're justifying their failures in gaming industries by insulting the intellect of the gamers. Really, shame on them.

EggEmperor
EggEmperor

"From my perspective, television is the mass market and we're the fringe," he added. "The challenge in front of us is does the customer think about it that way? Do they see us as so distinct we can't merge those two experiences?"

Battlefield reality TV show confirmed.

nic1357
nic1357

EA should just merge with SquareEnix and have done with it. Just kill gaming forever

JRLennis
JRLennis

"Hilleman explained that the game industry has a few lessons to learn about communicating with large audiences, the first of which is to steer clear of segmenting games into groups that are "too small to be relevant." Doing so puts companies at risk of losing player attention, he argued."

Let me see if I understand this.  Instead of having multiple genres targeted to different "small" niches, you instead prefer one all-encompassing genre meant to be all things to all people?  This is a recipe for failure, as there is no room for innovation in your products and everything will begin looking the same.  This is exactly what happened in 1983 before the video game crash.  Let me remind Mr. Hilleman that the revival of the video game business was due largely to a lot of innovative titles that took risks, and developers who were always willing to push the boundaries in their chosen niche.  They understood that racing toward a common concept of gaming was perilous, and that it was better to have a variety of small-volume high-quality titles than large-volume mediocre ones.  Everyone has different tastes.

Also, I'm not sure that TV is the type of market video games should be emulating.  Every channel you surf these days seems to have some kind of "reality" programming.  It sickens me to see how shallow and.. ALIKE everything has become.  Most of the good shows are targeted at a specific niche, and they are almost all on the smaller cable networks.  On the big networks its "reality" and crime, crime, crime, all the time.  It's not a sustainable business model, just as Call of Duty and assorted clones are not a sustainable business model for video games.  These highly-paid executives need to buy a clue.

nerdriot
nerdriot

LOL of course its not yet EA try so damm hard to make it one with their games dumb down for everyone so it fits my phone , console and pc. I think EA got lazy they justify making/publishing PC game with consoles menu and controls because your lazy but just like your marketing team must be screaming at the management every morning. Todays consumer are attracted by specialized product. So specialize your games.

starduke
starduke

And why would we want gaming to be a mass market?

bluefox755
bluefox755

I wonder if EA thinks their statements have any credibility after being voted the worst company?

VelvetKevorkian
VelvetKevorkian

Who the hell said they wanted gaming to be a mass market??

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

It won't be mass market until they find a niche for every age group. That is not a gaming industry I want any part in. 

Bring in the new, drive out the old, lose your best customers. 

If you actually thought about these things, and not just how much extra cash you can squeeze out of every single person on the planet you might be a respectable company.

morespamforya
morespamforya

The closest thing to a mass market obviously, is to offer a watered down "online only" version of a product known and loved. Give completely horrible service, tell the customer to fuck off when they want a refund, and then rake in the millions of dollars from destroying the brand image.


So relax guys, these guys know what they are doing,

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

@lewishim666 Slow down, deep breaths... Chill, dude.

You're making it sound worse than it is, there's still plenty of creativity out there. In film, in video games, literature... all of 'em still going strong. You just might have to scratch below the surface a little.

lewishim666
lewishim666

@jadaski1  

Yeah i can't wait until EA is bankrupt. If it doesn't happen before I die I might have to cryogenically freeze myself until the day they cure cancer a.k.a EA dies a horrible, slow and excruciating death.  

stev69
stev69

@CaptWaffle Actually its not nuts, companies like EA are turning an industry that is about creativity and artistic expression, and turning it into facebook town online cash cow, generic gameplay with a generic price tag, all terribly bland and dull, just right for the mindless masses. 

Personally I don't think people make enough noise about it, big business is fine when you keep the consumers interests at heart but when you go big you tend to lose that connection and things go all happy meal gaming. 

stev69
stev69

@CaptWaffle They need to stop talking to the press, that much is evident.

Alucard_Prime
Alucard_Prime

@jareed That is a joke, and they don't deserve that title. They only got it because gamers can sometimes be the most vocal, and the ones who have the most time on their hands to vote for something like this.

They may have questionable business practices, but what business doesn't these days? As poster Skinon mentioned, it's due to massive ignorance that they got that title.

Now if they had gotten the worst videogame company title, that would have been more plausible. But worst company of all....lol. 

Fernin-Ker
Fernin-Ker

@jareed 


Not by a long shot, the shit walmart does makes EA look benign. None the less EA is still a pretty shitty company. X3

lewishim666
lewishim666

@Shanks_D_Chop 

 My thoughts exactly it's like he is just talking to hear himself talk. Maybe he is trying to appear smart. When really he needs to learn to keep his mouth shut.

lewishim666
lewishim666

@Eric8315  

Apparently any game that isn't published by EA isn't mass market. The other publishers games are the groups that are too small to be relevant.

thegroveman
thegroveman

@Eric8315 It is on a different level though.  A blockbuster movie might sell 20 million tickets on an opening weekend while a game like Bioshock Infinite doesn't sell 1 million copies in its first week.  The records set by Call of Duty for opening sales are still a fraction of what a blockbuster film or a TV show like American Idol will bring.

OldKye
OldKye

@lewishim666 Well he works at EA it's required on the application so is a lengthy rap sheet from being a con-artist.

shruteshkumar
shruteshkumar

@JRLennis This is EA, they might be planning to scrap all their series and make a game in which you race to the football stadium in an F1 car, play football and shoot the opposing team in FPS mode, then level up your character and grant him the all destroying whip of major wickedness, then destroy the enemy base that spawns footballers with the attack helicopters in RTS mode before finally reaching the god child that will give you 3 coloured endings and finish the game. :P

sharpshooter188
sharpshooter188

@JRLennis  I think gaming will simply be reborn. These big companies will go out of business because of their marketing tactics and views on gaming as a whole. While the indie games will begin to rise and show promise. Cheap costs for attractive and fun games. I think they will be the next wave.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@bluefox755 Considering that the reason they were voted worst company is because many of the people involved in the voting are ignorant of what actually constitutes a bad company--like one that throws people out into the streets through foreclosure, rather than one that creates completely voluntary entertainment that nobody has to purchase at all--I'd venture to say they aren't too upset. If many of the people who voted them worst company actually experienced what its like to live on the streets--or even work a job--EA would be somewhere down in the 20's.

 Hence why I keep saying, as arrogant as it may be, that gamers need to GROW UP.

lewishim666
lewishim666

@Shanks_D_Chop @lewishim666  

Yeah I know. EA only accounts for a small portion of the industry anyway. I just have this irrational fear of idiots/greedy bastards being heard, listened to, and followed. Bad shit happens when people follow greedy bastards.

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

@stev69 @CaptWaffle I'm with Waffle, I think alot of people are over-reacting somewhat. 

EA might still be a big name with clout within the industry but they've not got much of a hold on the market, ie. us the consumers as they seem to be alienating more and more people lately. And there are alot of "indie" developers who are really on the rise mainly down to their ethics and their approach to the development process. So I think it all balances out.

There are still crap games being made but there are still really good games being made, just like there has been since the start of video gaming. As consumers, we vote with our wallets. Just don't buy the crap ones. Xp

And I don't think we need to worry too much about "social" gaming. Everyone who I know who messes around with FB games or daft little games on their phone, they're easily distracted by the shiny gadget and tech. As such they, as a consumer base, are rather fickle. Wait till the next shiny gadget toy thing comes out and they drop one to move to another. And that's long been a thing too. 

If a company such as EA thinks it can tap that market, let them.  Seems like a ball-ache to me. They'll end up shifting more and more resources towards it to stay competitive. Meanwhile, there'll be plenty of GOOD video game publishers and developers who will keep doing what they're doing.

That's what I reckon.

Skinon
Skinon

@Fernin-Ker @jareed Monsanto? 'Federal' Reserve? Big Pharma, Big Oil?

Talk about first world ignorance when a video game company makes the worst list..

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

@lewishim666 @Shanks_D_Chop That's understandable, sometimes I start thinking a bit too negatively about the way creative media might get pushed because of this "need" to increase profits year after year and it sets me off in a cold sweat.

stev69
stev69

@Shanks_D_Chop @stev69 @CaptWaffle Yes there are two sides to every coin, it may yet turn out to be a blessing in disguise, or other companies may gaze in EA's direction and see that shiny dollar and think why shouldn't they have a piece of it too. 

The really sad thing is if EA did go down that route so to speak they will take a number of development studios with them, not all of them terrible.

lewishim666
lewishim666

@Skinon @Fernin-Ker @jareed  

It's not ignorance. I'm pretty sure it was a joke or maybe he said that because they are the worst company that is relevant to us. It's a gaming website. None of those other companies are relevant (on a gaming website). Why would people be concerned with companies that aren't related to videogames on a gaming site? Yes he is technically wrong but...oh wait it's an opinion so he can't be wrong. EA is the only one of those companies that is relevant to gamers on this site. So yes they are worst in america as far as gamers are concerned. We are talking about videogames not other random shit. Anybody can just use irrelevant information to put someone down but can you use some relevant information to do it? I don't think so. You should stop being an idiot.