"Riccitiello said that the ideal of two guys in a garage creating a bust-out game, financing it on their VISA card, is not reality or even a possibility in the current market."
Uh, isn't that how the Combat Mission series started more or less? Isn't it even now maintained by a single person? And it certainly seems possible as they continue to live on, no need to drag how great or horrible the games are in here.
A decade ago, a team of 25-50 people could create a game. At the time, EA published on three platforms – today, they publish on over 12 platforms, not counting hundreds of different mobile handsets. "I would posit today that that number is in the 200 range for creating a AAA franchise. There is a collective of people that is much greater today, and paying those salaries is a much greater cost."
What are those 200 man teams doing? I could see if it your making multiple games across different platforms, but, c'mon. In todays market, what are some real challenges to why a single guy can't design a game that will grab a market? It may not have the whizbangs and widgets, but certainly there are a few games produced by a smaller team than that decade ago.