EA has enjoyed some good financial results recently, thanks in part to good sales of console games, but also due to its willingness to evolve and adapt to a rapidly-shifting market.
"Most of us recognize that the industry has radically changed, and the pace of change has accelerated dramatically," said EA CEO John Riccitiello, speaking with investors and media on EA's conference call yesterday. "Gone forever is the 4 to 5 year console cadence that gave developers ample time to invest and retool for the next big wave. Consider that just 18 months ago, there was no iPad, Google was just experimenting with Android and most big games were limited to a single revenue opportunity at launch."
Riccitiello went on to point out that all of the major consoles now have a motion control option, top paid apps for smartphones and tablets are all games and that so far as revenue streams go, digital is where it's at. He stressed the importance of EA ensuring that its focus meets the needs of the changing, growing market, and outlined a plan to help grow the business.
The key aspect of Riccitiello's plan is to leverage the strength of EA's most important IPs -- titles like Battlefield, Need for Speed and the EA Sports franchises.
"We're building the strength of our most important IP," he said. "And for EA, this means about a dozen very substantial IPs. Each of these will be transformed into year-round businesses with major packaged goods launches, social launches, mobile launches, downloadable content and microtransactions." Sounds like there'll be no escaping from EA's top franchises, whatever platform you're on, and however often platforms like the iPad and Android smartphones are updated and refreshed.
Riccitiello also confirmed that the company's Origin digital distribution platform for PC will play host to third-party content alongside EA's own titles, with GameStop proving to be one of the publisher's "best partners in digital" -- even with the retailer's acquisition of Origin rival Impulse.
This article originally appeared on GamePro.com as John Riccitiello: 4-5 Year Console Cycle is 'Gone Forever'