EA: "very poor returns" on 3D gaming

Would rather invest in social and online.

Mega games publisher EA reckons 3D gaming isn't worth its time or effort.

Instead, it will pump resources into 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," EA boss John Riccitiello told stockholders at EA's annual meeting, reported by GamesIndustry.biz.

"Frankly we have not seen a big uptake for 3D gaming. We have not seen a big uptake in 3DTVs in the home, at least not yet. We are not here trying to drive a market. We are here to react to what consumers are looking for."

Riccitiello's comments are sure to worry Sony, which has invested millions of dollars into 3DTVs and 3D gaming through the PlayStation 3.

PlayStation 3 exclusives Killzone 3, Gran Turismo 5 and MotorStorm: Apocalypse all support the feature.

Only last week, at the Develop conference in Brighton, Sony's 3D gaming chief Mick Hocking told Eurogamer: "It's been a good first year."

"We've got 50 million PlayStation 3s that support 3D playback. 3DTVs are selling well. We've had great response from our fans out there at game shows and forums about the 3D games we've produced."

But Hocking did admit that some game creators are producing poor quality 3D visuals.

"We need to, and we're trying to encourage everyone to learn about 3D properly and come and talk to us so we'll support them when they convert the games," he said.

"But only deliver the best quality 3D. As we've seen in some other industries, if you make great quality 3D, in film you could say Avatar it's the most successful film of all time, it's the highest grossing film of all time but since then that hasn't been followed up with the same degree of success.

"We've spent a lot of time getting great quality across all the PS3 games, and we've had a very good response for that, but it's really important we maintain that level of quality.

"If people see great quality 3D it does enhance the experience. It's a great feature for a game. But if they see poor quality 3D it can put them off.

"Unfortunately some people are producing poor quality 3D, in all mediums. Over the last 12 months we've seen TV, film, some games, where the quality hasn't been there. It's just a case of people need to understand how to work with 3D, how to make it technically correct and then how to use it creatively.

"Only add 3D where it makes a difference to the gameplay experience. It must add something. Don't just add depth for the sake of it."

Sony points to research that indicates that in the UK about 2.5 per cent of HDTVs are now 3D. Data suggests that by 2015 nearly 40 per cent of all new TVs sold will be 3D.

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