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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