Ex-EA CEO John Riccitiello convinced game industry is expanding, not shrinking

Above: John Riccitiello's data contradicts the doom and gloom, he tells the audience at GamesBeat 2013 on Wednesday.

Image Credit: Michael O'Donnell/VentureBeat

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — Some worrisome chin-waggling’s going on in the game industry, focused on topics such as what will be the next big gaming platform and what will come out as the next dominant trend — and if signs are pointing toward this generation being the console market’s ride into the sunset.

Among the predictors of the future, former EA CEO and industry investor John Riccitiello decided to bring his own stats and figures that illustrate a very positive scenario for the industry as a whole. “What we’ve got is a boom like I’ve never seen before,” he said Wednesday during a chat at GamesBeat 2013.

Riccitiello’s data shows that the video game industry is growing and expanding across all major platforms. The largest sliver, according to his figures, is the console software market at $25 billion – with smartphone and tablet gaming taking a $13 billion chunk. PC free-to-play is sitting at the $6.5 billion range, and it’s one of the two fastest growing markets today, only second in the “quick-up-and-comer club” to mobile gaming.

The only segment in Riccitiello’s data that is showing a decline: the pay-to-play MMO role-playing game.

If this rise across the board is true, then who is playing all of these games? Everyone, according to Riccitiello. “Games are growing in every major [market in the world].”

Although people discuss the see-saw effect between the growth of the Japanese and North America markets, gaming is on the way up across the globe. This includes Latin America, Western Europe, and Asia. What about the demographics? “More than half of those aged 12 and more than half of those 55-to-64 are gaming. That is stunning.”

There is also his statement, reported earlier, that Grand Theft Auto V, a highly popular open-world console game in the twilight of this generation, may be larger than the Super Bowl.

So the question to ask may not be “console vs. mobile.” Riccitiello’s data on significant growth across the board, at least, gives us a good reason on why it doesn’t have to be. “If console is working and digital is working, what’s not to like?”

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