In an interview with Financial Times (FT) EA’s Chief Executive stated that we are in a time when “the greatest games will be viewed by almost everybody as being as important as Best Picture at the Academy Awards.“
Oh how I wish it were true, but I have to disagree with Mr. Riccitiello. One of the best games of the last few years was undeniably Mass Effect. Unfortunately for the industry, we spent more time talking about a 30 second scene than the brilliant quality of the game as an interactive piece of fiction – a piece of art. There was a graphic sex scene somewhere in the middle of Schindler’s List, too, but that’s not what people remember, or what people focused on. But unfortunately for video games like the upcoming Grand Theft Auto IV, clearly rated “M” for Mature (age 17+) in the United States, the media will have nothing to say of the brilliant script, fantastic voice talent, and fine details in imagery that go into the game. No, they’re going to focus on virtual use of drugs and alcohol, objectification of women, and violence. All of which were themes of many prominent films.
The silver lining to the FT article, was the undeniable success of the video game industry. His appointment to this position and decision to split EA into several lables all comes with a bit of pressure. “Under the 16-year tenure of his predecessor, Larry Probst, the company had grown from sales of $102m in 1991 to $3bn in revenues last year.”