Speaking with Bloomberg, EA chief Andrew Wilson hinted that EA might drop the yearly release development cycle for titles like FIFA, Madden NHL, and National Football League in favor of a game as a service model meaning instead of a yearly new release, players can pay a subscription fee to receive new content and upgrades.
Now, however, it seems like EA might finally be moving away from this model and looking at Madden and Federation Internationale de Football Association as ongoing platforms rather than annual isolated releases, according to an interview with Bloomberg. There's a few different things that have got to happen first. Still, don't be surprised if we see those franchises make the transition from yearly series to games as a service sometime soon.
Even casual gamers likely have noticed the industry's shift away from physical releases and toward digital releases in recent years.
Although Electronic Arts released the Madden NFL Mobile game three years ago, it hasn't released a new version, preferring to refresh the existing product at the beginning of every season.
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Wilson didn't hint at a timetable or pricing of said service, but he did understand why EA was continuing with its yearly game release.
But as it pertains specifically to sports video games, perhaps Wilson's idea is an indication that game designers simply are running out of ideas, and they know it. "We can really think about those games as a 365-day, live service". This model appears to be ideal for sports-based games where it relies heavily on updated team rosters in order to keep being relevant. It kicked off with EA Access, a subscription service that grants users access to a library of "vault" games, with newer titles added between 6 and 9 months after release.
"The greatest disrupter to the consumption of entertainment media in the last five years has been the combination of streaming plus subscription", Wilson said. Historically with companies, it has shown that regular updates for a monthly fee is a lot more manageable rather than $60 at a time.