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DICE 2009: Riccitiello addresses recession, a 'blessing' for gaming industry

Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello knows a thing or two about money -- and considering the recent, brutal round of layoffs that the company had to undergo, he probably knows a thing or two about the current economy's sad state of affairs as well. Loading up a tongue-in-cheek screenshot depicting a gruesome wreck in Burnout Paradise, the EA commander-in-chief addressed the recession's effects on the gaming industry, as well as his company's strategy for staying afloat, during his speech at the 2009 DICE Summit in Las Vegas.

Said strategy is unbelievably simple -- Riccitiello summed up the EA survival plan which will result in over 1,000 positions within the company being jettisoned by April in three easy to remember steps: "Start by deciding what's important. Invest heavily in those programs. And cut the rest." This likely adds insult to injury to the nine (apparently unimportant) studios and publishing locations which were recently "cut" by the company, but it sounds like this relentless pruning is in the best interest of the EA mothership.

However, according to Riccitiello, gaming enthusiasts shouldn't be completely disheartened by the recent outbreaks of industry downsizing. He hypothesizes that the "riffraff" that tarnishes the gaming universe will die out, allowing for the market to become more accomodating for the visionaries and luminaries who want to move the medium forward. We certainly hope Riccitiello's dream of a "survival of the fittest" gaming utopia is realized -- we just hope we're all not eating shoelaces and apple cores by the time it gets here.

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