Sega Exec: EA Struggling with Hardcore Crowd, Industry Heading Towards 'Snackable Gaming'

Speaking on various elements of Sega of America's operations, company president Simon Jeffery critiqued publisher Electronic Arts' handling of the core gamer market.

"EA has always struggled with the hardcore gamer," Jeffery told VentureBeat. "I think they look at Gears of War and Halo and wonder why they can't do that. EA has to do something about that. They have tried on and off over the years. It's just like Activision had to come out from doing hardcore games and do more for the masses."

Jeffery further described what he sees as changing tastes among core gamers, moving away from lengthy, epic experiences towards pick-up-and-play titles.

"We are seeing a shift, even in hardcore games, to snackable gaming," Jeffery explained. "Call of Duty 4 had a shorter single-player campaign and really good multiplayer... Gamers are driven by getting achievements, finishing games, and they want to consume a lot of games."

Such consumers are often equipped with plenty of disposable income, Jeffery noted, and are frustrated by action titles that take more than 20 hours to complete. "It's interesting it has taken 25 years to figure that out," he added.

Following news that Sega's iPhone edition of Super Monkey Ball sold more than 300,000 copies in the first month of availability, the president expressed optimism for mobile phone gaming as renewed by Apple's iPhone.

"Super Monkey Ball is No. 1 and it's an extremely high profit-margin business. It's likely it will do a million units... [The iPhone] will absolutely be a new platform," he touted. "The point isn't just to get Sonic on as many handsets as possible. Direct consumer delivery is where it's going, as Apple has proven. We're in a really good position and see it as a viable platform."