EA : Gaming will become access-based like Spotify and Netflix

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Speaking at the Deutsche Bank Technology Conference today, the publisher's VP of investor relations Chris Evenden said EA has been laying the groundwork for a shift to streaming games through the cloud for some time, from its 2015 streaming service offered through Comcast Xfinity to its EA Access and Origin Access Xbox One and PC subscription offerings.

"We've been building an infrastructure both from a product and a marketing perspective so we can move our slate across to new platforms, and we can move with our games across to new platforms as well," Evenden said. "So all of these things, we've been working on for five or more years now, actually. But I think it's inevitable that the gaming entertainment world will move in much the same way that the music and video entertainment worlds have already moved, in the sense that people have moved from an ownership model to an access model. And you'll see that in gaming, just as you've seen it with Spotify and Netflix in other media businesses."

The technology for such a shift is essentially in place, Evenden said, noting that EA has been running a demo with one major internet company showing a streaming Battlefield experience indistinguishable from a locally rendered one. However, he acknowledged that test wouldn't work in areas without a robust online infrastructure.

"That infrastructure barrier is still there, but it's shrinking very rapidly," Evenden said. "And we think in the next couple of years, you'll see some major technological announcements that will prove to be commercially significant in the next three to five years."

One of the big reasons EA is preparing for a switch to a more streaming-oriented industry is that it would provide a much lower cost of entry for potential customers.

"Right now if you want to play FIFA in the United States, it will cost you $460," Evenden said. "You have to buy the game; you have to buy the console. In a streaming world, it could be $9.99 a month. The commercial details have to be worked out, but whatever number it ends up at is very much less than $460. So that extends your market, because all you need locally is literally a smart TV."


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I think we all knew this: we're just not quite infrastructurally ready yet, though.


Also, how does it cost $460 to play FIFA in the US? Just looking at current hardware:

XOne: $200 + $60
PS4: $250 + $60
Switch $300 + $60

They can't even justify $460 by adding in the cost of a TV, since you can play FIFA on Switch without one.

Good lord, I hope not.Unlike the music industry, games are interactive, they are a totally different beast.And even then, music is still sold as CD and a market will always be there for it, even if its niche.

If gaming went streaming only, that would be a horrible future.

Please, no. I want to actually OWN the games I buy so that is someday I want to play them again I can do so without having o fear things like expiring licenses or unsupported titles. These people then complain about piracy when they want to keep their games under every form of monetized controll.


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StarDoor said:

Also, how does it cost $460 to play FIFA in the US? Just looking at current hardware:

XOne: $200 + $60
PS4: $250 + $60
Switch $300 + $60

They can't even justify $460 by adding in the cost of a TV, since you can play FIFA on Switch without one.

PS4 Pro + game.

On topic: Would be cool if the transition happened soon and fast, but it's very unlikely.

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If they want to drastically decrease their profit, sure, go ahead. Xbox One launch was so good, right? - nope

Ok, you can listen to a song with a few megabytes on Spotify, but you need a very good amount of data to play a game. Movies also doesn't have the same interaction.

The niche market for physical copies are too strong in gaming community, so it's not really niche.

3DS, Wii, PSP, Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4 & Steam.

When it happens, we'll probably be at the stage where we're full-on selling 1/3 game full price, 2/3 dlc, plus all the cream on top with microtransactions and collector's editions without the actual game - well, for western gaming anyway.

Certainly a time to kill of any old titles or backlogs - I am not interested in this netflix-game bs. Much less western games.

EA is dumb. While a streaming base system will more than likely happen it won't be that profitable. Companies are still going to need to release a game that can be bought.

Physical and Digital goods will still have most of the market force in 2050.

Streaming should only be used as an extra cashflow not the cash cow that everyone depends on.

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EA should definitely go for this! ...just EA because others aren't as stupid.

...maybe Ubisoft.