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EA says single-player games are "really, really important" despite its business being 70% live service

Cal Kestis and BD-1 in Star Wars Jedi: Survivor
(Image credit: EA)

EA says single-player games are still very important to its business despite multiplayer live-service games making up the overwhelming majority of its releases.

In EA's Q4 earnings call today, CEO Andrew Wilson was asked about the role of single-player games in the company's business model. Wilson gave a typically long-winded response laden with corporate lingo like "vectors," "portfolios," and "fulfillment of motivations." Essentially, though, he strongly suggested EA will keep investing in single-player games for the foreseeable future. Here's the relevant quote, trimmed down for brevity.

"The way we think about this is really less about which game, and more about which motivations these games fulfill," said Wilson. "So we know that our players, they have these core motivations; inspiration, escape, social connection, competition, self-improvement, creation; these things that bring us together as players of games and the creation of worlds and the building of characters. And the telling of stories is really important in the fulfillment of some of those motivations."

"As we think about single-player games, we think it's a really, really important part of the overall portfolio that we deliver in fulfillment of those core motivations."

CFO Chris Suh also chimed in to assure investors that EA isn't about to trade any share of its highly lucrative live-service business for more single-player games. 

"As we think about the model impact and the financial impact of that, the first thing to always keep in mind is that live services still encompass ... over 70% of our business, and that has been a proven, very reliable, highly recurring revenue stream and that will still be the predominant driver in our P&L (profit and loss) long-term," said Suh.

This comes a little over a week after a report surfaced claiming a single-player Black Panther game is in development at EA's new Seattle branch.

Here's why we think live-service is here to stay and what can be done to make it better.

Jordan Gerblick
Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.