Ben Cousins used to make the kind of action-packed video games for Electronic Arts Inc. that played on dedicated machines and sold for $60 each. His next project promises console-quality action for free to anyone with an iPad.
Cousins’s journey reflects the turmoil roiling the $67 billion video-game industry more than 40 years after “Pong” lit up black-and-white screens. The largest U.S. publishers face a talent drain as big-game veterans like Cousins bring their skills to cheaper and easier-to-develop mobile platforms including Apple Inc.’s iOS. and Google Inc.’s Android.