EA CEO John Riccitiello said at a conference his company’s fastest-growing platform is the iPad, and that’s where the future is, TUAW reports.
It makes sense: tablets are a very fast growing category, and very good to gaming, so it’s almost a truism that it would be the fastest growing platform for gaming.
But it does have some pretty deep implications.
As Riccitiello said, tablet performance will improve and we’ll one day have tablets with graphics as good as today’s consoles.
But more importantly, tablet gaming changes the business model of games makers. The first obvious point is that games makers have to kick in 30% of everything to Apple.
But the more subtle point is that we’re moving to a world of games as a service, rather than a product: increasingly, games make money through selling virtual goods and upgrades rather than an upfront payment. That’s a very different business model than the current games business model, which is basically like a movie: spend tons of money making a game and promoting it, and make almost all of your money in the few crucial weeks of the launch.
And the most successful games-as-a-service company in America is Zynga, not Electronic Arts.