As far as EA is concerned, 3D video games have been nothing but a headache.
And not just for the consumers that have to wear 3D glasses or endure the eye strain that comes with the 3DS. Developers have to work hard to conform to special standards for 3D games, and publishers have to market them as somehow more special than a normal game.
And for all that, only a very slim minority of the gaming population will even benefit. Heck, even I own a 3D TV and rarely even watch any 3D content anymore.
I’m exactly the kind of person EA CEO John Riccitiello was talking about at a recent company meeting with shareholders.
“We have not seen a big uptake for 3D gaming. We have not seen a big uptake in 3D TVs in the home. We are not here trying to drive a market. We are here to react to what consumers want,” he said in response to a question about the 3D environment.
Riccitiello also commented on the 3DS, which eliminates all the costs of console 3D gaming – no new TV, no glasses, no special cables, etc. But there is still the system itself that consumers need to buy, and not a lot have shelled out the $250 for a 3DS just yet. The question is whether that’s because consumers don’t care for glasses-free 3D or because there are hardly any good 3DS games available.
So instead of latching onto 3D as the next big thing, Riccitiello reiterated the company’s push to mobile games, Facebook games, and casual online markets.
“We see really high returns in these markets and very poor returns focusing on 3D, so we are allocating our resources toward new innovations,” he said.