Electronic Arts Inc. became the world's biggest maker of videogames by relying on a formula now widespread in the industry: pumping out sequels of familiar game franchises, like Madden football, that consumers bought almost on cue. Now, its new chief executive says EA and other game makers must change their ways or risk losing audiences to more compelling forms of entertainment.
In his first in-depth comments since taking the job in April, John Riccitiello says he worries that the Redwood City, Calif., company and others in the industry make too many games that lack innovation. He says EA and others need both to push more aggressively beyond traditional audiences to court "casual" consumers and to experiment more with new sales approaches -- outside the norm of selling $50 to $60 discs with 40-hour games that he says few players ever finish.
"We're boring people to death and making games that are harder and harder to play," Mr. Riccitiello said in an interview.
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