DICE 2009: EA Chief Says Recession May Be A ‘Blessing’ For Gaming Industry

I thought John Riccitiello was done talking and making a bit of news during his DICE speech. But then he said this, acknowledging that he was the only gaming executive who would say something quite like it:

“I actually think the economic crisis that the world moved into n 2008 was a blessing for the game industry.

“First of all, a lot of the riffraff is going to go out of business… it’s hard to compete with junk especially when they’re giving it away for free.

“Secondly we did get fat in way too many places… it seemed like anybody who could draw a guy with a gun with a crayon got funded…”

What Riccitiello said he sees is an opportunity for a better industry to emerge, one in tune with the modern spectrum of gamers. He said that the industry had planned for the current generation as if gaming was still what it was in 1999: pre-Wii, pre-mass-audience, pre-so-many-changes.

He concluded: “…to quote Rahm Emmanuel, never waste a crisis.”

(Note this is a partial transcript, but the sentiment is clear and not at all one that was posed as celebrating individuals’ financial problems.)