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Riccitiello: Skateboarding Genre Has 'Run Its Course', Music Can 'Recover'

Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello commented on two once-booming video game genres -- music and skateboarding -- and predicts one is past its prime, while the other still has chance for a revival.
Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello on Wednesday commented on two once-booming video game genres -- music and skateboarding -- and predicts one is past its prime, while the other still has chance for a revival. "I think the music genre is going to recover," Riccitiello told Kotaku in an interview. "I don't know exactly how. It could be based on some new innovation. Maybe it all becomes dance-based." EA distributes MTV Networks' and Harmonix's Rock Band franchise through its EA Partners arm. The most recent installment, Rock Band 3, released in October this year to strong reviews. But the music category has seen revenue declines and waning popularity, leading Harmonix parent Viacom to put the Cambridge, MA studio up for sale earlier this year. Hamonix's most recent release is Dance Central, a dancing and rhythm game for Xbox 360's Kinect sensor. Riccitiello recently commented that buying Harmonix would be like trying to "catch a falling knife," a reference to the risk involved in investing in the studio and its area of expertise. In the same interview, the executive wasn't as optimistic on the skateboarding genre, which EA has explored with its Skate series. Rival Activision still has the Tony Hawk franchise, and recently released Tony Hawk Shred, which was aimed at a younger audience. Once a unique money-maker in Activision's stable, the series has commercially stagnated since its heyday. "When it comes to action sports, I think that's going to be an an ongoing exciting genre," he said, pinning skateboarding games in a larger category. "But at least for the level of excitement out there, skateboarding seems to have run its course as the representative example in that broader genre."

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