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Single or multiplayer games? EA makes its choice

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EA reveals its plans for the future of its games, whether multiplayer or single player.

In recent years, gaming fans have gradually seen a new type of video game, called game-service, flourish. These multiplayer titles are played online and have no, or very little, narrative dimension, preferring to focus on fun, renewable and perfectible gameplay rather than on a unique and necessarily aging story. Depending on the studios, it is a type of game that is increasingly adopted, including at EA.

Still, during a call for its financial results, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson insisted that single-player adventure games would continue to be part of the firm’s DNA. Asked about its portfolio for the next few years, the company says:

When we think about our portfolio and think about how to build it, we really think about it in two key areas. First, how can we tell incredible stories? And second, how can we build great online communities? And then, how to bring these two elements together? […]

When it comes to single player games, we think it’s a part very, very important of the global portfolio that we offer to meet these fundamental motivations. And the way we plan that over time is just to observe our community, see how they spend their time, and see where the motivations may or may not be met. And we’ll be looking to complement that with the addition of new online games, new multiplayer games and new single player games..”

An important economic aspect

EA therefore relies on your feelings as a player to continue to offer games that appeal to a large part of the community. But there is also a financial aspect that should not be overlooked. While adventure games rely on a one-time sale, service games rely more on micro-transactions, seasonal events and content updates to raise money over the long term. It therefore makes sense for EA to keep a majority of these games in its portfolio.

If we think about the impact of the business model and the financial impact, I think the first thing to keep in mind is that live services still represent, on a 12-month basis, more than 70% of our business, and that it is a proven, highly reliable and highly recurring revenue stream, which will continue to be the main driver of our P&L (loss and profit) long-term.

Star Wars in sight

This is not without reminding that at the level of single-player games, EA still has a lot to show us, and to prove itself. After the resounding success of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, we are eagerly awaiting the second opus, which is still being desired. We don’t currently have any crisp images or information to put in our mouths.

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