EA’s brand boss: “There’s really no such thing as gamers at all”

Elle McCarthy, EA‘s vice president of brand, has spoken about how the label “gamer” is outdated.

In an interview from AdWeek, McCarthy said, “Gaming is no longer a medium or an industry, it is simply ‘interactive’. You can now interact with almost everything through play – from an interest area like interior design to a movement like Black Lives Matter or exploring your sexual identity.”

She pointed to the rise in more lo-fi service games, bringing in more cultures and niches, which brands should take a “more audience-first and fluid approach” to engage with authentically.

“I often get asked about how brands can partner with gaming or talk to gamers – but there’s really no such thing as gamers at all and understanding that will be crucial,” she continued.

Battlefield 2042 remastered 1942 map
Battlefield 2042. Credit: EA

McCarthy claimed that only 14 per cent of players self-identify as gamers, while only 6 per cent of women do.

“There are no best practice rules for how to engage with these niche, multifaceted and passionate communities,” she said. “Trying to target gamers is like saying you’re targeting people who like music or people who breathe in air.”

Since joining EA in 2020, McCarthy has been tasked with reinventing and reinvigorating a 40-year-old brand, and added, “I am currently working on the brand purpose strategy to spread positivity through our products and give back through social impact.”

EA Play Live took place last week (July 22) where the publisher announced a slew of updates and a few new titles.

After a few leaks, it was finally confirmed that Dead Space is getting a remake, even the game’s creator Glen Schofield is “excited” see how EA Motive handle the new version.

Another new announcement was GRID Legends, a new racing game coming in 2022 from newly acquired studio Codemasters. The new title combines the developer’s knack for sim racing with an immersive narrative experience using live action with virtual production.