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Old 07-26-2011, 01:27 PM   #1
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EA Sports VP: Subscription Based Gaming Coming?


After we've heard rumors and rumors of rumors about EA Sports contemplating a subscription cloud based service for it's games, we get a senior exec saying the same things in an interview, basically making all we've heard to be true.

Quote:
"If we look at what consumers have pushed other industries for: if we look at what consumers forced the music industry to provide, if we look at what consumers have driven as a result of television and movie subscription, if you look at us - there's absolutely a time somewhere at some point in the future where the consumers say, 'Hey, this is how we want to interact with you: we want to give you a monthly or annual subscription and we want access to everything you make,'" Wilson told us.

"They get to drive the time and place for it, and a lot of it is technology dependent, but absolutely we can see a future where that might be the way we deliver games."

What does it mean? Well as I've pointed out each week on the OS Radio Show (we even talked about this specific article on there last night), this is the likely future of gaming. It makes too much sense from a cost/development cycle perspective not to do.

For the customer, I'd expect this might be something coming in the next generation of consoles (2014-2015). Depending on how stupid console manufacturers are, we could see physical media completely go away and the cloud take over gaming by then. Of course, with SD Card Memory Prices falling so rapidly maybe it's got a future in gaming as a media? 8 GB Cards currently go for just over 10 bucks, and the actual cost of manufacturing them can't be much higher than a Blu-Ray disk these days.

The way I envision it is that each publisher would offer monthly or annual subscriptions to games. Basically you'd pay $60 for access to a game for a year -- and then I can see a publisher basically bringing in annual packages for their entire lineup at a cost savings. So it'd be $40/month for every EA Sports Title through the whole year.

This could indicate that you could see development cycles which are never finished per-se, as games are continually updated and added to throughout the year. Regardless, it's an interesting conversation which is all heresay up until the point the future of gaming is revealed in the new Sony and Microsoft offerings, likely next June (or the one after that) at E3.

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Old 07-26-2011, 01:47 PM   #2
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40$ a month for every EA Sports title? That means an annual cost of 480$. It's not that bad if you already buy around 5-6 EA games a year for 60$ but I hope that you would have options like package (let's say 3 games for 15$ a month which would equal the 60$ retail price of 3 games).

My only fear with that is if you force people into buying games they didn't want at first, what's the point of improving your games overall since they already pay to get them anyway.

I might be living on another planet, but people in general are asking for packages to pay monthly for their game instead of buying a DVD for each game? If that's the case, I'm feeling freaking old right now!
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Old 07-26-2011, 01:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by FBeaule04
40$ a month for every EA Sports title? That means an annual cost of 480$. It's not that bad if you already buy around 5-6 EA games a year for 60$ but I hope that you would have options like package (let's say 3 games for 15$ a month which would equal the 60$ retail price of 3 games).

My only fear with that is if you force people into buying games they didn't want at first, what's the point of improving your games overall since they already pay to get them anyway.

I might be living on another planet, but people in general are asking for packages to pay monthly for their game instead of buying a DVD for each game? If that's the case, I'm feeling freaking old right now!
From what was said in the full interview, he's saying that is a time coming very soon where the popular demand will be that. I can see it actually -- mainly because like you said, you can probably save some monies if companies package games up like that (and given traditional business pricing methods, you'd get *some* savings for sure). But in the end we'll just have to wait and see.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:02 PM   #4
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This does not sound good.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:07 PM   #5
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Maybe this will make me finally grow up and stop playing video games. I've been going since the original Nintendo. Less and less these days. Always been a sports gamer and still get my picks almost every year. Used to be football, baseball and hockey automatic. I think the last football game I bought was NFL 2k3 and I'm still going with baseball and hockey but finding I don't play as much. I also am at a point now where I don't automatically run out on release day and grab them. I wait to see what you guys say. If it goes to monthly subscriptions I think that will be the end of me for gaming.
I can always buy a game and not play it and have it laying around paid for once. If I don't like the game, they still have my money and I still have their game. If it comes in the form of a monthly bill, I just can't see myself doing that.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:23 PM   #6
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EA is really disconnected from its fanbase. I have zero interest in this, and I don't think people that are in my age bracket would also be big fans of this, either.
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:43 PM   #7
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I think what they're calling public demand is in reality their own pushed agenda. They're trying to create brand loyalty which is "smart business" but it's horrible for the gamer, how many people out there exclusively purchase all of their games from EA or any other single developer?

The subscription based music and movie services work because you pay one monthly fee for access to a huge selection of movies or music from various studios and record labels; if WB, 20 Century fox and Universal each charged individually the service probably wouldn't work.

Besides why would someone pay say $40 per month to play only EA games when you already have services like gamefly which puts the price point for rentals from a wide variety of developers much lower.

Needless to say I think this is a horrible direction for the gaming industry and I think people should make sure that the developers know it!
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Old 07-26-2011, 02:47 PM   #8
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LEAFS NATION'!!!! Could not have said it better, (Maybe this will make me finally grow up and stop playing video games) Best comment of all time IMO......................i feel the very sameway
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