Electronic Arts founder says game consoles market will shrink and become a niche

EA Founder Hawkins Interview

Unless you’re a devout gamer with a penchant for gaming trivia, chances are you’ve probably never heard of Trip Hawkins. Back in 1982, Hawkins founded a company called Electronic Arts (EA), better known today as just EA. Flash forward 30 years and EA is now the world’s largest game publisher. Although Hawkins isn’t nearly as influential as he once was, he made an brow-raising comment in a recent interview with IGN. Even with more people becoming gamers and playing games, Hawkins says the console market is “going to become a smaller market, and it’s going to be more like a hobby market” because of the rise of gaming on PCs, smartphones, tablets, etc. 

“In the old days I’d go down to the basement to play Grand Theft Auto,” he said. “But the Facebook gamer is able to play at work, at home, in a hotel on a PC. They can get access to a browser just about anywhere. People are thinking about convenience first.”

It’s not the first time we’ve heard members of the game industry predict the decline and eventual death of dedicated gaming consoles. In June, ABI Research noted that the rise of smartphone and tablet gaming would push handheld gaming devices such as the PS Vita and Nintendo (NTDOY) 3DS to become niche-only products incapable of capturing the mass consumer’s needs for inexpensive and fast-paced app games.

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