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Despite Economy...Banner Year for Video Game Industry

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, July 31, 2008

         Never mind the cost of gasoline and food...these are the best of times for the video game industry.   Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology.     Consumers may be cutting back of lots of things...like driving.    But when it comes to spending money on video games,  wallets remain open.   In fact,  Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello says...

 

     "Well actually it's sort of a great time in the game industry.  Industry sales are up almost 30 percent year to date.  Which sort of bucks the trend of a tough economy.  I think that's pretty typical.   People game at home.   It can ride out tough economic cycles.  And what's happening now is a huge amount of innovation where companies like Electronic Arts are making stuff the consumer wants to buy.  They're buying it and taking it home in droves."

      To what extent is this industry insulated from the economic conditions that are out there?

      "Well I think if you look back over 20 plus years and look at economic cycles or economic downturns, you'll see that the game industry was really not affected by it.  In a way that's sort of logical.   In a recession, what does a consumer do?  They often stay home more, travel less.  Maybe visit theme parks or get on fewer airplanes.  But when they're at home, they've got to do something.   And what our data shows is they game more."

       And more types of people are playing video games...increasing the popularity of casual games...especially in the music category with titles like Guitar Hero and Rock Band.  And much of the credit goes to the innovations in Nintendo's Wii game console as well.   Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.