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EA subscription service for all-game access a future possibility

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Electronic Arts is putting a lot of its firepower into games as a service. In coming years it may even model its distribution after other online media services. Chief operating officer Peter Moore told Wired a subscription-based program could be just what the doctor ordered to consolidate the changing business models of AAA titles.

"There will be a situation where EA says, you can for a subscription service, everything we do drops directly into your hard drive," Moore said. "That’s the vision that I see our industry--same way that music has gone that way.

"If I said to you for $15 a month you have access to most of that which EA has created over its history and everything that’s new coming in, like a Netflix model coming in, I believe a lot of people would pay for that for 15 bucks."

Moore said there are still many limitations to this model, namely differences in broadband quality and availability worldwide. He said he envisions the service more as a subscription based Origin (or Steam) where one can download the games once to their system and play at will, as opposed to streaming.

But retail is still a very strong business, accounting for $2.6 billion of EA's $4.3 billion net revenue this year. The company plans to release its initial games on Wii U, which has been making a push onto the digital market, as disc-only packages.

He was also less than excited by the prospect of Ouya, the $99 digital-marketplace driven console which raised $8.5 million on Kickstarter in August.

"When Ouya comes up, what are they, $8 million on Kickstarter? They’re about a billion-six short of getting out there and being a full global launch of a console device. And I don’t quite get it. If I’m playing Android games I’ll go get a Samsung tablet and play them rather than pay another $99 for a device that feels more like a gaming Roku than anything else."

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10 comments

  • Risonhighmer - October 31, 2012 9:43 p.m.

    So, Sega channel but with only one publisher's games?
  • Aarononymous - October 31, 2012 7:15 p.m.

    So you spend the first few days of your subscription not able to play cause you're downloading EA's entire game library (which is going to take up a massive amount of HD space), or you download as you go? then when you end your subscription it just erases them, or do the files lock up? Unless you're talking about actual game streaming, which OnLive failed to do but EA might be able to manage, the comparison with Netflix just doesn't work.
  • Stabby_Joe - October 31, 2012 6:58 p.m.

    And this is why Steam is better than Origin.
  • Viron - October 31, 2012 5:54 p.m.

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha no.
  • TheMariner - October 31, 2012 4 p.m.

    Now if only I actually liked the majority of games EA puts out...
  • mentalityljs - October 31, 2012 3:42 p.m.

    Mr. Moore, I believe your perception of what gamers will and will not do for exclusive, limited content is seriously misguided. Take a hint from Steam and stop trying to dig deeper into your already loyal customers' pockets, you greedy corporate bastard!!!
  • bass88 - October 31, 2012 12:38 p.m.

    Decent idea. Serms to be good value. It's not like EA have a shortage of games. However, we're still a while from it yet. And with people like me (those who like buying physical copies) retail isn't going anywhere soon.
  • laurenhiya21 - October 31, 2012 12:21 p.m.

    That's not a bad idea I guess... It's just that I don't like 90% of their games, and the ones I do like, I either already own, or they are fairly old and pretty cheap.
  • PinkoCommunist - October 31, 2012 12:18 p.m.

    This is more aimed at pirates but if it ever did happen there would be a ton more ppl pirating games then.
  • chriszewski - October 31, 2012 12:16 p.m.

    Equating what EA wants to do compared to netflix is a bit of a misnomer. It would be more like Paramount or Lionsgate charging a subscription fee for their library. Netflix is a 3rd party. I'd be more comfortable with a TRUE netflix like subscription where they have EA's, capcom's, square's etc. full libraries- past and present. Oh wait... Gamefly...

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