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3D Gaming Doesn’t Work, Says EA

Andrew Williams by

3D Gaming Doesn’t Work, Says EA

EA Chief Executive John Riccitiello said that 3D gaming doesn’t work commercially at the publisher’s annual stakeholder meeting. The publisher intends to stop pursuing the technology, and instead invest further in social and online gaming.

When asked about 3D gaming by a shareholder at EA’s annual meeting, John Riccitiello said that it has “not seen a big uptake for 3D gaming”. He continued, “we are not here trying to drive a market. We are here to react to what consumers want.”

Riccitiello doesn’t see technology as the limiting factor here, but the low demand for it. He says that EA has “not seen a big uptake in 3D TVs in the home”, suggesting that most game buyers out there simply don’t care enough about 3D to shell out on a new TV for the privilege of gaining that extra dimension.John Riccitiello

Sony has placed a big emphasis on 3D in this current console generation, plugging the feature into key PS3-exclusive titles like Gran Turismo 5 and Killzone 3, but Riccitiello’s comments suggest EA doesn't plan to follow suit any time soon. In June 2010, Riccietello spoke out about the potential of 3D, calling it a “truly wonderful thing” in an interview with IndustryGamers, but also commented that it wouldn’t see a big enough user base until 2011 or 2012. Apparently 3D hasn’t yet had the growth spurt it needs.

3D glasses

Nintendo has also seen disappointing results with 3D gaming. Sales of its 3DS console have been lower than expectations, inciting a severe price cut in Japan and the US, announced yesterday. Nintendo will now make a loss on each unit, where it profits from each Wii and DS sale. 3D is backed by figures more convincingly in movies – James Cameron’s 3D extravaganza Avatar is the highest-grossing film of all time – but critics maintain that 3D doesn’t add anything substantial to the movie-watching experience. Is the same true of gaming?

EA’s recent big business announcement was its $1.3 billion purchase of Popcap, a leading casual games publisher. Alongside its previous buy-outs of Playfish and iPhone game publisher Chillingo, this cements its importance in the casual, social and online gaming spaces.

Via Gamesindustry.biz

Go to comments

simon jackson

July 30, 2011, 1:41 am

I'm with the critics personally - i don't really think 3D adds anything substantial to the movie experience. I think it has the potential to have more of an impact in gaming, primarily because you're sat a lot closer to the screen and therefore i would imagine - i haven't actually tried it yet - the effect is a little more pronounced and aids immersion. The problems are two fold though:

1) It's hard to sell the 3d thing without showing it to consumers in person, because you can't share the experience of 3d viewing via 2d monitors and tvs which are used to communicate most marketing and advertising to us.

2) It's pretty expensive to get the same quality of experience visually in 3d as in 2d. First i probably need a new monitor. Then I need to be able to maintain 120fps instead of 60 to get a smooth gaming experience. So either i reduce the graphics settings in the game - so i get something worse looking in 3d, as opposed to something better looking in 2d - or i shell out for expensive new hardware; one will always need better hardware to run 3d games at the same quality level, as smoothly, than to run 2d games at the same quality level. Thus, maintaining a system that can keep pace with games development is more expensive, because rather than maintaining a pc with middle of the road graphical capabilities, You're going to have to maintain a pc with high-end graphical capabilities. And given graphics cards are often the most/second most expensive individual component in gaming rigs, that's not going to be cheap.


July 30, 2011, 6:22 pm

3)no-one cares what EA have to say,they do the barest minimum each year,then hit people with micro payments.how would they know if people are using 3d considering they never release anything in the 3d environment to see if it is taken up.

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