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

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Instead, EA could instead offer updates to members of a subscription service and rely on distribution of digital updates to purchased games in between official releases.

Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson recently did an interview with Bloomberg, and he suggested that the game publisher eventually could do away with the traditional annual release model. There's a lot of code that we make available as part of the new iteration.

"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. Similarly the game modes have largely remained the same, franchise options haven't been updated and changes have been so incremental that the title is often slammed for being little more than a roster update.

Every year, EA Sports releases a new version of its Madden and Federation Internationale de Football Association titles, such as this year's Madden NFL 18 and Federation Internationale de Football Association 18. In areas where the sports series aren't quite as popular, this might seem like the best course of action for the company, rather than have shelves stacked with new copies of the games every year. Instead of buying it every year, you might be able to pay a regular fee or download free content. A subscription model will also keep the money coming in, as evidenced by the rise of Grand Theft Auto V as the best-selling video game in the United States.


Wilson was also asked why there's now no service yet that's considered as the "Netflix of gaming".

"When we design a game that lives in a true streaming world, we have to think about screen size and session time". In fact, it has already done this with Madden NFL Mobile for the past three years and Wilson notes that the game's user base continues to grow. 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 added that with the streaming services, things have changed a lot, it has changed how people watch television and more.

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