EA exec: iPhone having ‘negative impact’ on mobile gaming

Speaking during a panel discussion at CES, Travis Boatman, vice president of worldwide studios for Electronic Arts’ mobile division, hailed the iPhone as “capable and powerful,” while stating that it has had a negative impact on the mobile gaming industry. “But it’s a replacement for someone who had a Razr before,” said Boatman of the iPhone. “They [consumers] still want their content but there’s no distribution platform in place so there’s a negative impact on the industry.” “These devices are capable and powerful,” he continued. “They’ll be great in the long term but it will take some time as people adapt to devices.” Boatman also described the challenge facing game publishers as consumers upgrade their phones to new devices that may or may not be compatible with games purchased for their previous cell. Apple has received much criticism for its decision to charge iPod owners for new versions of iPod games, updated to support the iPod nano (with video) and iPod classic, regardless of whether the customer previously purchased the game for the fifth-generation iPod. “If you bought a PlayStation 2 and you buy an Xbox ‘790’ four years later, do you think EA games is going to redevelop that game and not charge you for it?” he said. “It’s not inexpensive.”

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