EA Looking At Subscription-Based Services Instead of Traditional Game Releases

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In an interview with Bloomberg, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson discussed the possibility of not having an annual release of a franchise like Madden NFL or Federation Internationale de Football Association.

"There's a world where it gets easier and easier to move that code around - where we may not have to do an annual release", Wilson told Bloomberg TV host Emily Chang on her show "Studio 1.0".

The video game industry is slowly shifting from just selling physical discs to selling games digitally.

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During an interview with Bloomberg this week, Wilson spoke briefly about a future that doesn't involve annual releases for games like Federation Internationale de Football Association or Madden. "We can really think about those games as a 365-day, live service".

In the interview, Wilson was talking about titles such as Madden NFL and Federation Internationale de Football Association which get released annually.

Of course, if EA does decide to change the way it publishes and distributes its sports games, there would likely be additional cost for consumers associated with that. This also includes selling additional content, which usually involves new gear, campaigns, levels, accessories and other in-game purchases. The most recent EA titles aren't included in Origin Access until a certain amount of time after launch, thereby encouraging those who want to play a new release right away to pay outright for it.

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The latter example is a fascinating proposition for sports games.

Mobile iterations of EA's sports games don't require whole new games, instead updating year-on-year as new version are made available on console. Perhaps declining game sales make it hard to reconcile huge production costs. Wilson went on in his interview to say that, "The greatest disruptor to the consumption of entertainment media in the last five years has been the combination of streaming plus subscription". He argues that it has already changed the way people watch television, listen to music and even read books. "It's changed the way I read books".

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