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EA: It's Time To Start Looking At Games As "Mass Media"

When we say "mass media," what pops into your head? Video games? As far as EA boss John Riccitiello is concerned, it should.

In speaking at the Ad Age Digital Conference in New York, Riccitiello says, as a marketer, he realizes his target audience has "migrated to gaming." EA predicts there will be 3 billion gamers globally by 2012, which is double the current number and a far cry from the estimated 200 million in 2000. The difference with gaming as the "new mass media" is that it keeps a consumer's attention longer. As Riccitiello said- "People don't really do anything else when they're playing games...multitasking is almost nonexistent while gaming." And in terms of hours spent, US consumers spend an estimated 15 million hours per week gaming...and that's a lot of video interaction. It all started a decade ago when the industry "turned from a niche into something short of a mass market."

With the ongoing rise in gaming and gamers and the advent of smartphones, video games have become a normal part of a person's life. And the numbers will just keep getting bigger; EA reveals they're planning a $100 million-plus campaign for Battlefield 3, which should release this November. They'll need every dime of that campaign, though, as it's likely they'll compete with the new Call of Duty that month...

Tags: gaming industry, mass media, ea, electronic arts

4/6/2011 8:48:28 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (22 posts)

Excelsior1
Wednesday, April 06, 2011 @ 9:21:39 PM
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i have mutitasked while going through the killtubes of ff13.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 06, 2011 @ 9:31:40 PM
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I wouldn't call people who only play games on their smart phones gamers. I think his predictions are a bit of a stretch.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, April 06, 2011 @ 11:41:46 PM

I wouldn't either, but the overall term of "gamer" as used by these corporate types tends to include every grandma who ever took a shot at Wii bowling.

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nilos95
Thursday, April 07, 2011 @ 7:10:25 AM

For them, gamer is just the potential buyer. We are the hardcore!

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DirtySkillzHD
Wednesday, April 06, 2011 @ 9:59:13 PM
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Lol of course those greedy bast**ds would say this

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Jawknee
Wednesday, April 06, 2011 @ 10:14:07 PM

They're only greedy if they hoard they money, which they obviously do not.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, April 06, 2011 @ 11:42:13 PM

No, if they hoard their money they are dragons.

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kraygen
Wednesday, April 06, 2011 @ 11:43:13 PM
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I can see why he would roll all the people playing games on facebook and on their cell phones as gamers. Cell phone gaming has become a big business all by itself. Granted I wouldn't consider them core gamers though, but I see where he's coming from.

Now if we could only get those cell phone players to realize that real games are ok too and to stop acting like they are above that. How many people do you know who play those mini games on their phone but give dirty looks to you when you talk about being a gamer.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, April 06, 2011 @ 11:46:17 PM

More importantly, how many console gamers think you are crazy for playing games that aren't straight-up shooters?

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kraygen
Thursday, April 07, 2011 @ 4:10:57 AM

too true. I =( at the state of gaming.

At least I still have plenty of rpgs for me to play alone.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, April 06, 2011 @ 11:45:14 PM
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You can multitask while playing some games, but you can't have fun doing it.

Call it mass market or whatever, just don't think we are going to start allowing the whole thing to collapse onto itself and start accepting games that are the equivalent of mass market movies. Well, aside from the CoD nuts I mean.

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kraygen
Thursday, April 07, 2011 @ 4:12:18 AM

I disagree, I grind in my rpgs while I watch tv shows and I love doing it. Not every time, but sometimes I just get bored doing only one or the other. It works out well though, plenty of levels and netflix comes in very handy.

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, April 07, 2011 @ 2:06:40 AM
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I do tend to focus on the game when I'm playing, but I'll pause it and turn away if there is something pressing. The only thing I usually do WHILE playing is drink. I think he has a point there. And you can only count 3 billion gamers if you choose to add in those people that play Angry Birds on their phones or Farmville on Facebook. I really don't consider those type of people as gamers. The core market consists of the consoles (yes... including the Wii, depending on what and how much they play) and the handhelds. They should be the focus.

As for "mass media" so far as I'm concerned, it is anything that has a far reaching effect. Whether that means print news, television or gaming. As long as it is capable of sending a clearly receivable message and engaging people with it, then it is mass media. To be honest, I already do, but that may only be because gaming is a frighteningly large part of my life... I need to cut back.
Peace.

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kraygen
Thursday, April 07, 2011 @ 4:14:01 AM

"And you can only count 3 billion gamers if you choose to add in those people that play Angry Birds on their phones or Farmville on Facebook."

I choose to call them closet gamers because apparently they want to game, but are afraid of what people might think if they actually played a real video game.

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, April 07, 2011 @ 5:38:44 AM

Ha! That's a good name for them. Thankfully, most of the people I know actually play, or at least tolerate games.

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___________
Thursday, April 07, 2011 @ 4:25:34 AM
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this idiot who is obsessed with COD, is what pops into my head!

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Scarecrow
Thursday, April 07, 2011 @ 10:05:07 AM
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Sickening. This is why Acti-crap-vision and EA are just as pathetic.

Last EA game I bought must have been SSX on tour

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ace_boon_coon
Thursday, April 07, 2011 @ 4:36:48 PM

You didn't even play DS2?

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Scarecrow
Thursday, April 07, 2011 @ 7:59:00 PM

DS2? Dead space? No, busy with LBP2.

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Lairfan
Thursday, April 07, 2011 @ 3:59:44 PM
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3 billion gamers by 2012? The gaming industry is going to have to stop putting out so many shooters every year if they expect to keep all the disillusioned gamers out there, and add more to their numbers.

Last edited by Lairfan on 4/7/2011 3:59:56 PM

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AnonWTF
Thursday, April 07, 2011 @ 9:44:21 PM
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COD is most likely going to crush bf

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BigBoss4ever
Thursday, April 07, 2011 @ 11:17:37 PM
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while this is encouraging, flip side is gaming is now created for mass public, which at times excellence and perfection is lost in tailoring towards mass media for all tastes, i.e. Squeeeenix.

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 4/7/2011 11:18:31 PM

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