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Riccitiello slams unoriginal casual hits

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Former Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello criticized what he sees as the copy-and-paste culture of casual games.

Speaking to GamesIndustry at the Casual Connect conference in San Francisco, he said that too many games on casual platforms are created with only one aim; making money.

"I find this terribly hilarious," he said. "These game companies who are going to create the next generation of new ideas, they're all about fun etc. And they're working on a Puzzle and Dragons rip-off, except they're going to change one of the colors to blue.

"I mean, wait a minute. Are you in this because you want to create something or does it look like the easiest way to make money is to take one of the top-ten games and tweak it?"

Riccitiello attended the conference to give a keynote speech, during which he argued that chasing high-fidelity graphics on mobile devices is not the way forward. The exec, who departed EA in March said that most of the money that is funding gaming start-ups is coming from people with no interest in originality.

"One of the reasons we're seeing a lot of stuff that looks alike and plays alike is because that's how a lot of stuff gets born. It gets funded that way," he said. "I think we're going to start seeing a lot more differentiation as people get bored of seeing the same apps in the top 200. They're going to come at it and realize that if you don't make a fundamentally different product then it's very difficult to replace something that's up there with your own original design."