Game Playing on the Move (with EA)

Lincoln Wallen, the CTO of Entertainment Arts Mobile and interviewed recently at http://www.mobileindustry.biz spoke to the "Telco & Media" breakout session, at the best attended session of the day. I checked out EAs job site a couple of years ago and discovered a vacancy for "Vice President (MIS)" which sounded pretty impressive, but as I read more about it, it became clear that this job was not the No 1. It made me wonder what the CTO of an organisation like EA did and needed to know. Well, now I've heard him speak.

Lauren's presentation (not available publicly) reviewed both demand and supply factors to their organisation, and touched on his companies positioning and the competitive dynamics. He placed demand in the context of multiple channels, including retail, broadcast and mobile. Given EA is a content publisher, it was a very technology orientated presentation, exploring what tomorrows devices would look like and the impact these technology changes will have on the market. It reminds me of the disappointment I felt when reading an interview with one of the authors of the original Doom who banged on about pixel rendering and density rather than story development, depth and what made the game a great playing experience. Despite this personal reprise, Lincoln, maintained a relevance reviewing and forecasting market trends and suggesting (maybe hinting) at his organisations response. He also ensured we never forgot that playing experience is key to success. One interesting feature is that he produced some charts talking about the number of hours spent on multi-media leisure consumption. It just makes me wonder where the hours come from, I expect I'm paying for it. Interestingly, he did not necessarily talk about if the new technologies and processing capability would change the nature of content, although he did suggest that surfing Google is a leisure activity for some - I'd have expected E-Bay, but the interesting thing is the recognition that games/video have non-game/video competition, and that consumer's time, not budget may be the constraint. (This is similar to one of their most successful game franchises, "The Sims", where time is the key constraint.)

Again this was written after the event and uploaded on 21 March 2006 and back dated to the time of occurrence. Sorry its taken me so long to post this.

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