Riccitiello - recession is "a blessing"

Technically it's two quarters of GDP decline.

EA chief John Riccitiello addressed the DICE summit in Las Vegas yesterday, and gave his tips on how to steer the videogame industry through the current economic crisis. He also suggested that, in the long run, it might not be a bad thing.

"I actually think that the economic crisis the game industry moved into in 2008 is a blessing," the executive said, as reported by GameSpot.

It would thin out the competition and reduce the number of poor-quality games on the market by causing "the riffraff" to go bankrupt, he said; and present an opportunity for decisive companies to get themselves fighting-fit for the future.

EA has been forced to cut 1000 jobs and close facilities in recent months, a fact which Riccitiello apparently didn't gloss over. But he was quick to suggest that being entirely ruled by the bottom line was the wrong way to go.

Accountants' advice is always to cut staff, close studios and reduce creative risk, and do more of the same if things don't improve. "That's a recipe you would follow at your peril," he said.

Riccitiello put a more positive spin on his own approach: decide what's important, invest in those projects, and cut the rest. Quality new IP and "gaming as a service" are the initiatives that the EA exec judges to be important right now.

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