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Electronic Arts will be moving investment away from the development of 3D games according to its boss, John Riccitiello. Speaking at an annual shareholders meeting yesterday, he said that "We have not seen a big uptake in 3D gaming" and "we have not seen a big uptake of 3D TVs in the home."
EA now plans to focus its investment in growth areas like mobile, social and online gaming. "We see really high returns in these markets and very poor returns focusing on 3D, so we are allocating our resources toward new innovations," said Riccitiello. It does make sense, after EA's purchase of casual games giant PopCap a few weeks ago.
Above: There's no report of Riccitiello symbolically breaking a pair of 3D glasses. It's just for illustration
While not explicitly stated, we're confident this strategy does not apply to Nintendo's 3DS, which requires every game to run in 3D. Moving away from the handheld would be abandoning an entire platform, whereas it is much more logical to avoid pouring resources into an optional feature that as little as 2.5% of the home console market (in the UK at least) actually has access to.
But where does this leave Sony, who've poured millions into the tech and keep saying how the 3D market is set to explode? Electronic Arts is a major player to have on your team (as Sega found out to its huge expense with Dreamcast), so losing faith in 3D at this time is a pretty major blow. But it isn't necessarily forever. Riccitiello concluded by saying that "We are not here trying to drive a market. We are here to react to what customers want." So in other words, EA is a business, not a charity. But if the public does decide 3D is the future, and buys into it in large enough numbers, EA will be back on board.
29 July, 2011