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Riccitiello: 'No Inherent Conflict' Between Creativity And Profitability

In the midst of ongoing restructuring efforts, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello says there's "no inherent conflict between great creativity and achieving strong profitability." He also named pre-production as the one problem area of games development
In the midst of ongoing restructuring efforts, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello says there's "no inherent conflict between great creativity and achieving strong profitability". The executive was speaking to The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences' website ahead of his appearance at next month's affiliated D.I.C.E conference. Asked how he wished to be remembered, Riccitiello answered: "Some of my greatest beliefs regarding gaming are that our art form is today - or certainly has the potential - to be recognized as the peer of the best of Hollywood movies. I want to help others see that." "I also believe that there is no inherent conflict between great creativity and achieving strong profitability - I believe they go hand in hand," he added. "More than trying to work on my legacy, I want to work to prove both of these points are true and see a day when these ideas are seen as common knowledge." Asked how he measures success in the industry, Riccitiello acknowledged that sales, revenue, profit and improving shareholder value were all important issues. "There is also a qualitative aspect of our industry," he added. "Making games we can be proud of. Pushing boundaries. As I mentioned above, I believe the quantitative and the qualitative measures go well together." Riccitiello also said that if he could instantly solve one game development problem, he'd pick pre-production issues: "I'd have teams work to get to far greater design clarity before they begin full-scale production. Lack of clarity up front is probably the #1 reason why games are late, over budget or, in some cases, not that good." Finally, asked what the biggest challenge was facing the industry, Riccitiello answered simply: "The industry has gotten more complicated, but the challenge is still pretty much the same: Give consumers a great experience for their money; surprise them; make them say, ‘Wow, that was cool!’"

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