Summit News

EA chief sees fewer big industry mergers

John Riccitiello, Chief Executive Officer of Electronic Arts, speaks at the Reuters Media Summit in New York, November 29, 2007. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Most of the consolidation in the video game industry has already taken place, but there is potential in fast-growing areas such as subscriptions and advertising, Electronic Arts Inc ERTS.O Chief Executive John Riccitiello said on Thursday.

Riccitiello, who engineered a deal last month to buy two independent game studios for up to $855 million, said half of the industry’s video game sales came from just three publishers, compared with eight or nine companies 10 years ago.

“Is it ripe (for mergers), or has it already been picked? I would argue that it’s been largely picked,” Riccitiello told the Reuters Media Summit in New York.

“That doesn’t mean it’s done. I think there will be more consolidation to come. But let’s just say a lot has already happened,” he said.

Gaming companies hunting for deals would focus on strong games and strong creative teams that are the best guarantee of successful games in the future, Riccitiello said.

“There’s a lot of growth in what is the nontraditional arena, so that would be microtransactions, subscription revenue, ad revenue, new types of models, casual games,” Riccitiello said.

(Clickhere to see Reuters MediaFile blog)

Reporting by Scott Hillis; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe