Consoles only 40 percent of games industry, says EA CEO

Speaking with IndustryGamers, EA CEO John Riccitiello offered some industry-insider insight into how the generational console cycle may no longer exist. He said that “Consoles today are 40 percent of the game industry,” a statistic that has been rapidly changing. According to Riccitiello, “consoles used to be 80 percent of the industry as recently as 2000.”

That's a big difference. What's causing the change? Mobile and social network games are taking a bigger share of the gaming industry. In March of 2010, the Entertainment Software Association found that at least 20 percent of people who play games do at least some of their gaming on social network sites like Facebook.

Above: Consoles only represent about 40 percent of the games industry, says EA’s John Riccitiello

But Riccitiello also identifies alternatives to console gaming. He says EA’s “fastest growing platform is the iPad right now and that didn’t exist 18 months ago.” With new gaming devices that he estimates are arriving as quickly as every nine months, the traditional idea of a new industry-rocking console that comes out once every several years for everyone to use may soon be obsolete.

To read more of Riccitiello's thoughts - including what he thinks of the diminishing returns of increased processing power and Nintendo's Wii U - check out the article, but you don't really need to. We already told you all the important stuff.

Jul 20, 2011


  • NullG7 - July 23, 2011 4:37 a.m.

    40% how? In money or in units? Also this is EA we are talking about, they have kinda been left in the dust by their competitors for years and always capililze on any new outlet (no matter how pathetic).
  • SparkleDevon - July 21, 2011 11:33 p.m.

    Casual gaming isn't going to kill the gaming market. Seriously, I love games like Angry Birds, but that doesn't mean I'm taking away time I'd be playing games on a real console. Just when I don't have my 3DS around.
  • MrBlond - July 21, 2011 11 a.m.

    God this comment seems to pop up every other week nowadays, that and the one about how mobile games platforms will soon have the power to replace consoles - they really won't. It's great that gaming is becoming more accessible to people but honestly, who wants to be playing games on a phone? Even handhelds like DS and PSP are mostly used in the comfort of the home, at least for me they are. Bending over to please the casual audience will only be successful if they can keep coming up with the next must-have thing and they will inevitably run out of ideas pretty fast. If consoles ever die then I will happily keep hold of my money from then on and play through the backlog of great games on the many older generation consoles out there.
  • grayguwapo - July 21, 2011 6:12 a.m.

    look... i have and play ipad and iphone games, they're great and good to have handy esp. if you're out waiting... but c'mon, you can't expect these devices to outplay consoles?! try cramming the graphics of FFXIII into an ipad or the gameplay of uncharted in an iphone?! sure it may work but it won't be as fabulous as it will be on a console... there's a reason why consoles are here, that's to churn out the boost in graphic power, something even the latest idevice won't be able to match... besides, social gaming might be fun or can pass the time but it won't have the dept of most games available in consoles...
  • couggod - July 21, 2011 5:46 a.m.

    Could some verification of these statistics be made. I wouldn't dare think that the CEO of EA is mistaken, but you never know.
  • DualWieldingIsNotFeasible - July 21, 2011 5:30 a.m.

    The problem with this statistic is that I don't consider FarmVille or Angry Birds "games" in the same way that Halo or God of War are "games". I think Chris said it best on the podcast, that it's the difference between seeing a Will Ferell movie in the theater and watching a funny YouTube video. Companies will keep making big-budget games as long as they keep selling millions of copies, so I'm not that worried. Except Nintendo, they went over to the dark side and I don't see them coming back.
  • fullmetallegend - July 21, 2011 4:24 a.m.

    This doesn't really mean less people are playing consoles, it means there's just a lot of people who never had a console playing games on their phones and Facebook.
  • Manguy17 - July 21, 2011 2 a.m.

    erm..why is there an ad for phone sex on the bottom of the screen? care to exlpain GR? =)
  • corndog501 - July 21, 2011 1:48 a.m.

    Don't console games rake in more revenue than anything since you're charging $60 instead of $1-$5. Console games are still the money makers, unfortunately games like Call of Duty have proven this.
  • JangoFettN7 - July 21, 2011 1:33 a.m.

    I think it's that more people are gaming, using cell phones and ipads, tablet pc ect. This is causing the console numbers to look like they are going down when really the entire gaming market is expanding. I don't think console or PC gaming are going anywhere, but there is definitely a new market and consumer for portable/casual gaming.
  • Ausoi - July 21, 2011 1:22 a.m.

    @thatguyfromtv how long have PC been a gaming platform? more then 10 years buddy, consoles and the like aren't going anywhere
  • onetimebuster - July 21, 2011 1:03 a.m.

    The 360 is so fat becuase its American.
  • Latnok - July 21, 2011 12:46 a.m.

    I think the real question is, why are there two ps3s and why is the xbox 360 so fat?
  • onetimebuster - July 21, 2011 12:18 a.m.

    I will be done with gaming if console and pc games end
  • Metroidhunter32 - July 21, 2011 12:06 a.m.

    Don't pay attention to %s, give me raw numbers. Have the actual amount of console games played gone down? Otherwise, you're just flooding the market to make it look like the consoles have gone down. Stupid statistic pushers, you're no better then climate gate.
  • D0CCON - July 21, 2011 12:04 a.m.

    Console gamers aren't going down, it's just that mobile devices that play games are going up. I'm guessing that some guy who has an Iphone who owns Angry Birds and then just some non-game apps counts as a mobile gamer in the eyes of this survey.
  • Yeager1122 - July 21, 2011 12:03 a.m.

    I dont care what statistics say ill always do almost all my gaming on consoles its just the way i like it.
  • IcePotato - July 20, 2011 11:56 p.m.

    Social network "games" are not games.
  • Redeater - July 20, 2011 11:50 p.m.

    Wow there really isn't anything for me to say that hasn't been said. Except why are there 2 PS3s?
  • ParanoidAndroid - July 20, 2011 11:45 p.m.

    Hasn't the market just expanded to include casual gamers? Consoles and PCs will still take up the majority of the hardcore market, and that's going nowhere.

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