In an interview with Bloomberg TV, EA CEO Andrew Wilson admitted that the company was considering a future without yearly releases of FIFA, Madden and the rest of their regular sports franchises. Instead, they’re looking at subscriptions as a potential future business model for these games, as these games have become increasingly profitable from digital purchases and microtransactions, instead of from discs sold in store and delivered to your door.
Honestly, it comes as no surprise that EA are looking to a future where their major yearly sports series are a subscription service as opposed to distinct releases. Aside from the distinctly dystopian tone to Wilson saying, “There’s a world not too far away from now where video games move from being a discrete, conscious experience to an indiscreet, subconscious experience,” I personally see this potential future as a good, common sense.
Currently, many FIFA players will shell out $60 soon after release just to hop into the latest version of the game with relatively iterative new features and updated teams and stats. As soon as FIFA 18 came out, FIFA 17 was now old hat, but even before that it’s been pushed to the sidelines. EA Access and Origin Access for Xbox One and PC are both subscription services that offer a large array of EA’s back catalogue to download for £3.99 a month, and within that catalogue, you’ll find Madden and FIFA from 14 through to 17, with each sports game added to the service just six months after its release.
Wilson also said “The greatest disruptor to the consumption of entertainment media in the last five years has been the combination of streaming plus subscription. It’s changed the way we watch television. It’s changed the way we listen to music. It’s changed the way I read books.”
The one thing looming over this decision would be how much EA would charge for a monthly or yearly subscription and how it would affect the current status quo with EA Access.
Either way, how does this shift sound to you?