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EA's takeaway from social gaming's slump

EA's takeaway from social gaming's slump

October 19, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

"Consumers won't pay for crap."
- Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello shares the primary lesson that social game developers should take away from the market's current decline.

Delivering a keynote at App Conference, Riccitiello admitted that the social game market has been overhyped -- notably, EA contributed to that hype several years ago when it acquired UK-based developer Playfish in a deal valued at $300 million. But he argues that social gaming is evolving, not dying.

The CEO believes that the market's decline isn't as bad as some are making it out to be. He added that "the companies that are now suffering will have another day," and many of them have likely learned some lessons about game quality from the challenges the industry's facing right now, according to All Thing Digital.

Among major developers on Facebook, EA has been one of the hardest hit by decreasing interest in social games. Once claiming the second biggest audience of gamers on Facebook behind Zynga, it now trails behind younger developers like and Wooga.

Its total monthly active user count across all of its games on Facebook is at 36.7 million -- EA's biggest title, The Sims Social, alone had that many players less than a year ago (it even hit 66.2 million before the social network modified how it counts users). Now it has only 10.7 million monthly players.

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