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Why Mass Effect 3 supports Kinect

EA's "core and more," strategy explained.

Why does upcoming science-fiction role-playing game Mass Effect 3 support Kinect? Because EA wants more than just core gamers to play it.

"Grow the audience and make it more accessible," was EA Games boss Frank Gibeau's to-the-point answer when Eurogamer asked the question.

"Mass Effect has a fairly complicated combat system. You've got story and choice. For some fans that don't buy 12 games a year and maybe buy two or three, some of those things can be intimidating. We wanted to open up the accessibility without hurting the depth or the quality. Kinect is a fantastic technology that allows us to do that."

BioWare popped up on stage during Microsoft's press conference to demonstrate how Mass Effect 3 will work when played with motion-sensing add-on Kinect.

Using the sensor's voice recognition technology, you're able to read out lines of dialogue to activate them, and during combat dish out instructions to your party members.

This, according to Gibeau, makes Mass Effect 3 "that much easier to play" while dealing with the "frenetic" gameplay.

"For core gamers, they just liked the fact they could even be more powerful with it. With new gamers they felt they could get into it much easier."

With spiralling development costs, Gibeau explained, publishers can no longer afford to sell one million copies – the sales benchmark previously thought to indicate success.

"When you're in this business now you have to be able to get to the widest possible audience. Games are so expensive to build now that you can't have a sustainable business if you're in the million unit seller range. You've got to be multi-million units.

"You have to think about not just the core gamers but the hit buyers and the more casual buyers; having a design and a story and an interface that works across all of those segments without losing the core. It makes life interesting.

"We think it about it as the core and more. Not more, leave the core. That's a recipe for failure. You have to be smart about it. You can't dumb the game down. But at the same time you have to make it so a lot more people can play it than just core gamers."

Martin went eyes-on for Eurogamer's E3 2011 Mass Effect 3 preview.