It was originally believed the economic recession wouldn't affect video games much. That prediction proved to be very, very wrong. Electronic Arts is one of the companies that's been deeply affected, prompting the company to announce plans to layoff 1,500 employees. Discussing these issues and how EA will react to them going forward, EA CEO John Riccitiello outlined several areas the company sees as advantages in 2010 and beyond: price cuts, digital sales and motion controls.
Riccitiello brought up digital sales a number of times, declaring EA a company that needs to move beyond just delivering packaged goods at retail and achieving a balance between these traditional sales and digital sales. The executive believes gains in the digital side in 2010 will actually offset dips in the retail sector, encouraged by EA being a "leading layer on the digital direct side of the industry."
Most digital sales come from the PC side right now, sans some experiments by both Microsoft and Sony on their respective services. But EA sees opportunities there with further iterations on the price cuts introduced by Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo in the past few months.
"[There is] room on the console price points," said Riccitiello, pointing out that most hardware sales take place once consoles have moved to the $199 and below price point.
Additionally, Riccitiello believes both Project Natal and Sony's motion controller will extend outreach.
"[These add-ons will] bring new consumers to the market ... and extend the cycle."