Alright, EA, I’ll bite. In an interview with Games Industry, EA CCO Richard Hilleman explained that video games do not yet have mass market appeal. In fact, we’re not even close. According to Hilleman, “The closest thing we’ve had to a mass market, frankly, has been the social and mobile spaces.”
He goes on to explain that, compared to the mass market of television, gaming should still be considered a fringe market, and that it’s important for developers and publishers to understand the distinction. He believes a central problem in gaming’s struggle to reach a broader audience stems from the industry’s constant attempts at segmenting audiences into groups that are too small to be considered relevant. Hilleman believes that when people finally put down their phones and tablets at the end of the day, they still turn to the television for their entertainment.
This seems to align with EA’s current strategy of pushing into the television space. With the advent of SmartTVs, EA has made nice with the likes of Samsung and LG, developing EA-themed apps for both product lines. How they plan to further blur the line between television and gaming remains to be seen. Most recently, they’ve partnered with multiple content providers to allow game streaming via a SmartTV application that is currently in the testing phase. Perhaps if the recently-released Defiance ends up doing well, a game tied to a series of the same name premiering on Syfy, we’ll begin seeing more cross-media titles popping up on next-gen consoles. Given their obsession with broadening social appeal and content sharing, it’s really not too much of a stretch.
Do you folks think television still reigns supreme in the fight for you attention? In an era of tablets, large-screen computer monitors, and a bevy of streaming application services, do you still spend more time in front of the television screen than any other singular device in your household? Share your thoughts in the comments below.