EA: FIFA Will Cease Yearly Disc Releases Eventually

FIFA is one of the biggest selling games every year so when EA Sports boss Peter Moore starts talking about potential changes to the game you sit up and take notice.

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Speaking to MCV Moore said:

“Football for most of us is pretty constant. This year there was, what, a 15 day off-season. And even then we were thinking about it and reading about it. That’s the space football occupies in our lives and that’s how we’ve got to look at it.”

“We need to provide that persistent world, maybe sometimes powered by discs, maybe on social networks, or the cloud or whatever. That’s’ the team’s vision, that no matter where you are or what you’re using, there’s a FIFA experience to be had, it all links together, it lifts your level up and identifies your status.”

One of the more interest comments came from Moore when he was speaking about the possibility of not using yearly disc releases in the future. It may not be this generation but he appears fairly confident it will happen.

“Personally I still think there’ll be discs five years from now. But generally yes, of course, I think there will come a time when FIFA is less a disc that you wait for in late September/early October, and more something that we provide 365 days a year.

“In a few years time I expect to have less of a team developing and as many if not more doing live operations.”

A monthly subscription service looks like a good option for FIFA, assuming you wouldn’t need to purchase a new copy each year. I’m sure EA could get away with a £4 or £5 monthly fee as long as they provided free software and squad updates within the subscription.

Moore went on to talk about how the cloud-based FIFA Superstars, which averages 4.3 million users a month, would be changing.

“The business model’s simple: you accept that the vast majority of users will never pay you a penny and you learn to be cool with that. Plus you get people like me who want deeper engagement, and can’t sit still waiting for their three daily match credits or whatever, so we pay to accelerate our gameplay and create better teams, and that’s nice but it’s not really the point.

“What you are now starting to see is some linkage between FIFA Superstars and unlocking some features in FIFA 11. It’s baby steps towards persistence and presence for a full FIFA eco system.”

It looks like Moore wants FIFA to infiltrate every area of our lives. If it happens they may need to include free divorce papers with every copy.

Source: MCV UK

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21 Comments

  1. EA can go f*** themselves. It will mean that there will be little to no improvements.

  2. This is all part of EA’s plan for world domination. Damnit, they beat me to it!

  3. Most games will lose the discs and just have clients updated, this is why the Xbox3 & PS4 may not be the powerhorses that history suggest they could be

    Although there probably needs to be another generation so as to comfortably achieve 1080p120 (60fps per eye)

    I think FIFA Online, Need For Speed World and a range of other games show how EA and others are thinking, probably offering a core client with a ‘base experience’ free of charge and then making money through subscription for advanced features, advertising and stuff

    A word of caution though and that word contains 3 letters: APB

    • A personal boat? ;p

      • is this another kinect tie in :P ?

      • LOL i laughed so much.

      • What, is that comment on the wrong article, or am I missing something

      • It took me a while to get as well, I believe he is referring to the “APB” (A Personal Boat) at the end of your post.

  4. I am wary of any subscription service. They should try Rock Band’s approach to DLC.
    The estimate of £4-5 monthly is incredible, could you really see people spending that much?

    • At £4/m its £48 a year that’s not much more than the generally available pricing of £40, so if gaming does move this way I’d say that’s not unreasonable

      but at £5/m its akin to a 50% rise

      • You’re right, it’s not too much over the odds, but I think for many people £8 extra is too much, especially when you have no real guarantee you will be getting what you want throughout the year.
        I can see a lot of dads saying HOW MUCH A MONTH??? even when they would be more than happy to buy many £40 games.
        £4 – too much of a commitment to an intangible product.

      • The problem is that if gaming goes down this route I could be sat with four or five subscriptions a month coming to total of £20 plus any additional premium content and many people will be priced out of gaming. Especially those that are dependent on parents to fund their gaming.

  5. It just worries me that if more & more games go for the subscription model it will seriously limit the amount of games I play.

    If each game charges £4-£5 then I’d be looking at maybe 2-3 games I could play online per month, so I’d be buying less games than I am now because I’d really have to be sure I could afford it especially if they’re pre-owned and I have to pay to get online in the first place.

  6. Yeah read this last week. Will be sad when the disc ceases to have a need.

  7. Sounds like a good idea to be honest. Havent played a footy game and enjoy it since PES3 on PS2.

    Got Fifa 09 for £1.50 the other day… so the idea of paying a fee for the game to move into 2010/2011 with various updates and modifications sound like a great idea. I dont think all games will benefit from this, however games that throw an annual version out could really pull in more sales by doing this…

    I cant see me ever paying anything over the odds for a Football game again to be honest, but this idea would tempt me back.

    • Anything with annual releases could work

      FPS, Sports games, MMOs are already like this, maybe even RTS & TBS games along with some RPGs, but it wouldn’t really suit action adventure titles and some other genres

      I can’t see gamers buying into it unless it offered savings over the current ~£40/year

  8. Not sure about a subscription based idea, but then it does make sense. I’ve got FIFA10 but dont play it enough to justify getting 11 nor is there enough difference between the two. An add on with extra features being added would be better for users like myself.

  9. EA evidently need more money to pay Rooney so he can cheat on his wife some more.

  10. it won’t be fair to those without an internet connection.

    • 70% of PS3s are connected, I’d hazard a guess that the other 30% of PS3s are being used as Blu-ray players, doing number crunching in server farms for research purposes, owned by people who don’t want to lose 3.15 and OtherOS, owned by pirates running 3.40 or whatever it is and rest owned largely by unprofitable customers anyway.

      A lot of PC games require a constant connection for DRM reasons anyway so the industry has already made that leap

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