Riccitiello: There are one billion gamers

Plus: EA Sports host a billion sessions.

EA boss John Riccitiello has said there are at least one billion people playing videogames in some form worldwide.

"Conservatively, if I add up mobile users who play games, social network people who play games, people who play PC games online in Asia, all this stuff, this audience, there's at least a billion people gaming today, compared to a couple of hundred million just five years ago," the silver-haired fox told PBS (thanks Kotaku), having already factored in "a couple of hundred million" playing on consoles.

"So we have five times the audience we've ever had, and it's growing in leaps and bounds."

Indeed it is growing in leaps and bounds, and perhaps more so than even Riccitiello expected, since he was busy telling Reuters at E3 that we might break the billion number "in a year or two". Clearly you can't stop the signal.

Gamers weren't the only billion Riccitiello mentioned in the PBS interview, either. Referring to EA Sports' online features, he said: "We've hosted over a billion online games. A billion online games. That's a staggering number. And these are where people are playing an hour, or two hours, or three hours. I mean, it's the productivity of a small nation wrapped up in just EA Sports online." He didn't say how many were DNFs.

Meanwhile, lower down the food chain, EA Sports community manager Alain Quinto has said that the product family may welcome a new arrival very soon. "Just heard the execs at EA Sports will announce a new game sometime in January. I wonder what it'll be?" he tweeted yesterday.

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