EA Sports Mulling The Idea Of Eliminating Annual Releases

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EA Sports Mulling The Idea Of Eliminating Annual Releases

Postby [Q] on Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:54 pm

If you play EA's sports games often, you know the drill: every summer there's a fresh round of titles that carry new modes, gameplay tweaks and (of course) roster updates. They're often minor and not always worth buying, but what choice do you have if you want to stay current? There might be a more practical option soon. In an interview with Bloomberg, EA chief Andrew Wilson floated the possibility that his company might drop annual sports game releases in favor of updates or subscriptions. The publisher could treat the games as a "365-day, live service," he said. Instead of buying FIFA or Madden every year, you might pay a regular fee or download content to keep it relevant.

Wilson argued that the shift toward internet content made this possible. When sales are moving from plastic discs to online stores, why not treat games more like services? There would be challenges if EA embraced the internet fully by offering streaming games instead of downloads (what does the game look like when it's not on a home machine?), but it's notable that this is even a realistic option.

The executive didn't suggest pricing, let alone offer a timetable. However, it's easy to see why EA would have this not-so-yearly strategy on the table. As many companies have learned, subscriptions are a way to keep money rolling in on a regular basis, rather than hoping users might buy new software. And it's theoretically more convenient for both developers and players alike. EA doesn't have to ship as many physical copies, and you might not have to wait for an entirely new game just to try a mode that could have easily been included in a patch or a lower-priced add-on.


A lot of regular games are switching to this new model. Buy the base game, pay for more content. Games like Street fighter V and the new Hitman game are some that I've played like that. I think it could work for them and save them money in the long run. They could potentially make more than they normally would if they charge more than $5 a month for the game. The internet has definitely changed the landscape of gaming first by making discs obsolete and with games already pushing patches and updates through the internet, regular annual releases can be a thing of the past.
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Re: EA Sports Mulling The Idea Of Eliminating Annual Releases

Postby Andrew on Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:55 pm

It's funny, we discussed this in the most episode of the Podcast and concluded it was unlikely. :lol:

It's an interesting idea, but I think you've got to get a really good game out there first, one where people are more less comfortable to see content updates and occasional patches. There's obviously stuff that can't be patched in, so at some point a new release would be necessary. To that end, I'd be surprised if it happened anytime soon.
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Re: EA Sports Mulling The Idea Of Eliminating Annual Releases

Postby mp3 on Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:52 pm

Let's pry they don't, and if they do then they better keep supporting the current title with roster updates etc
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Re: EA Sports Mulling The Idea Of Eliminating Annual Releases

Postby StyxTx on Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:13 am

It did mention there would be continuing updates and DLC's so it sounds like a good idea to me. I never get through more than one season in the yearly cycle anyway since, unlike The Show, you can't carry over a previous career into a new release, so a "career" mode is more like a season mode the way it's set up now. It would be nice to actually play a full career.
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Re: EA Sports Mulling The Idea Of Eliminating Annual Releases

Postby Geemonster84 on Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:04 am

I am a bit concerned with this subscription model. Due to the fact that it is a subscription model in general because what other hidden fees are entailed in these subscriptions. For example if l am only a NBA Live fan and don't care about any other game does some of my fees go to maintenance of other game titles. Also what happens if patches end up of causing massive problems with the product are we entitled to have quick solutions to fixing problems that plague a game. Or do we have to wait until EA feels like fixing the problems, in other words whats the turnaround. Also does it makes sense to have physical copies of games anymore since paying for online copies are a bit cheaper and now that l have a subscription its better just to have the game on the console. Guess we should suspect more BETA BUILD :cussing: games now to JUSTIFY going to subscription base products... Has the current state of gaming pushing titles to come out knowing the game is unfinished, sounds like EA going to create this demand... :?
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Re: EA Sports Mulling The Idea Of Eliminating Annual Releases

Postby [Q] on Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:35 am

Andrew wrote:It's funny, we discussed this in the most episode of the Podcast and concluded it was unlikely. :lol:

It's an interesting idea, but I think you've got to get a really good game out there first, one where people are more less comfortable to see content updates and occasional patches. There's obviously stuff that can't be patched in, so at some point a new release would be necessary. To that end, I'd be surprised if it happened anytime soon.

I think that's why the article specifically mentioned fifa and madden as examples and NBA Live was not mentioned
Geemonster84 wrote:I am a bit concerned with this subscription model. Due to the fact that it is a subscription model in general because what other hidden fees are entailed in these subscriptions. For example if l am only a NBA Live fan and don't care about any other game does some of my fees go to maintenance of other game titles. Also what happens if patches end up of causing massive problems with the product are we entitled to have quick solutions to fixing problems that plague a game. Or do we have to wait until EA feels like fixing the problems, in other words whats the turnaround. Also does it makes sense to have physical copies of games anymore since paying for online copies are a bit cheaper and now that l have a subscription its better just to have the game on the console. Guess we should suspect more BETA BUILD :cussing: games now to JUSTIFY going to subscription base products... Has the current state of gaming pushing titles to come out knowing the game is unfinished, sounds like EA going to create this demand... :?

I don't think it will be like EA Access with multiple games. It'll be like a call of duty season pass where you get all the content for that year
Patches are independent of how you buy the game and how it's delivered to you. Currently if a patch messes up game play you already have to wait for the next one to fix it.
But yes I do agree that with the internet companies are ok with releasing unfinished games and adding content later.
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Re: EA Sports Mulling The Idea Of Eliminating Annual Releases

Postby Andrew on Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:12 am

It's also worth noting that it's an idea that's being floated, not an official announcement. We probably shouldn't get too ahead of ourselves here.
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Re: EA Sports Mulling The Idea Of Eliminating Annual Releases

Postby StyxTx on Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:58 pm

[Q] wrote:But yes I do agree that with the internet companies are ok with releasing unfinished games and adding content later.


Civilization does that, for sure. The out of the box version is pretty basic and not very good. The updates definitely make the game a lot better.
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Re: EA Sports Mulling The Idea Of Eliminating Annual Releases

Postby ThaLiveKing on Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:29 pm

I can't see them doing it with NBA until the game play is on par with at least FIFA.
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Re: EA Sports Mulling The Idea Of Eliminating Annual Releases

Postby Beavis_5000 on Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:20 am

I think it would work so long as they add new content (gear/jerseys) and even add new courts. For example, I've had all the Live Run objectives complete for well over a month and all I play i Live Run so as far unlocking loot and etc this game is gonna be very bland for me the rest of it's cycle.
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