Well, EA Has Gone All-In On Digital Gaming

We realize that when you have a dream – say, the dream that customers will no longer be able to purchase games, but instead must rent access to games at the same for which they once purchased them – you have to maintain a positive spirit. Never for a moment doubt that your goals are attainable, your cause righteous, and your bottom line expansive. Always know in your heart that anything is possible if you just imagine it!

And if that doesn’t work? Fake it until you make it y’all. That seems to be Electronic Arts’ plan, anyway. For months now we’ve heard from them that social gaming is here to stay and that an all digital gaming marketplace is the wave of the future. Apparently, that kind of talk just wasn’t making the transition to the wonderful, post-ownership world they’ve been evangelizing, so they’ve decided to just talk about the present like it’s already happened. The future is now, bay!

As the Galway, Ireland-based call center formerly called BioWare Ireland makes the transition to an all-purpose EA center called (we are not kidding) the European Customer Experience Centre of Excellence, EA is using the occasion to discuss how it represents, well, a total transformation of their business model, and possibly the industry itself.

“We couldn’t be who we need to be without this,” EA COO Peter Moore said to CVG, “and who we need to be is a direct-to-consumer digital entertainment experience. Gaming is a service and we need to be there on standby to help our customers.”

I have to admit, that sounds rather… specific. I realize people are talking about the transition of gaming as a service, but are we there yet? Probably not. But don’t tell EA. “We’re no longer shipping products,” Moore said, “but delivering live digital entertainment – we have to be there for customers twenty-four-seven. Entertainment as a service is something we are keen on building, and we have things like FIFA Ultimate Team which build with millions of people playing them. FIFA is a core focus on what we’re doing at Galway.”

This is a soft announcement, but we can probably take this as EA’s way of making it semi offical: They’re going to be discontinuing physical games as soon as they can. And that doesn’t sound like a great environment for gamers.

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12 Comments on Well, EA Has Gone All-In On Digital Gaming

JawaEsteban

On October 24, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Good. The sooner that pack of poor deluded bastards discontinues physical games, then the sooner that wretched company goes belly-up. Think I’ll start putting together a “Ding-dong, EA is Dead” dance routine. Wouldn’t want that glorious day to come and be caught unprepared to celebrate.

Fletcher

On October 24, 2012 at 11:15 pm

I generally tried to stay away from EA Games prior to this announcement but now that they are going all digital this will be even easier. Well done EA. Now I can pretend that I live in a world where your company doesn’t exist.

gasmaskangel

On October 24, 2012 at 11:34 pm

I genuinely wonder if anyone at EA pays any kind of attention to their public image, because one of the first things you should probably do before attempting to change the face of the industry as a whole is make sure that your companies name isn’t being used as invective* by members of the public.

*As in “he’s a total EA” or “I’ve got go take an EA”.

quicktooth

On October 25, 2012 at 1:57 am

I would like to sing the praises… of how this means I won’t have to even look at EA ever again. No longer shall I be troubled by actually SEEING EA’s products in stores (I already don’t buy them); now I can happily enter JB HiFi, safe in the knowledge that their insulting, insipid, soulless version of what I can only FAIL to call Fun is gone forever. As soon as they go all digital. Start EA! Get lost into the AdBlocked oblivion you so richly deserve (for running companies that I like into the ground, like Bioware). I see great things in the future for EA, and those things are Dodos of enormous girth. We all eagerly await this wonderful future for The Actually Official Most Evil Company In America.

Ebalosus

On October 25, 2012 at 4:59 am

Odd, because when I go to both Origin and Steam, I don’t see a “rent” button, only a “buy” one. The word “buy” in the commercial sense in New Zealand specifies a transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer, i.e. when I buy a game on sStream or Origin, EA is transfering a copy from themselves to me, which I then own. Thus, if EA really is only renting games to us, I could complain to the commerce commission over here on the grounds of misleading sales practices.

My point being: As consumer laws tighten on digital property (as they have in europe, and soon will here and in Aus), they (EA/Steam/whomever) will not be able to rent us games when on their digital storefronts they say “buy”. If they want to just rent us games, fine, I wont like it one bit, but at least they will be honest with their consumers instead of misleading them.

Axetwin

On October 25, 2012 at 5:27 am

My friends the moment is upon us. We must put aside our differences on petty topics such as which console is superior and whether or not a specific title should be considered “hardcore” or “casual”. The first shot against out freedom not only as consumers but as gamers has been fired and it is up to us to respond accordingly. We must tell EA, not in a disjointed whisper but, in a single voice, united enough so even Colin Moriarity cannot shrug us off as the “vocal minority” that we DO NOT ACCEPT THIS!

For FAR too long have we stood idly by bickering amongst ourselves watching as EA destroyed good company after good company. Time and time again have we told ourselves “EA just bought this new company, maybe this time they’ll do the right thing and they wont meddle” yet time and time again theyve done what theyve always done. Drain a company of all its resources leaving it a shallow husk of its former glory before depositing it upon the bones of those that came before. This, my friends is where we say ENOUGH!

I am but one man, and I cannot do this alone. But together as a community, not just as Gamefronters but as gamers in general, we can make a difference. We can show EA that we as the consumer will decide what we want. We are tired of having crappy idea after crappy idea shoved down our throat and then shoved in our face like its some sort of success story because there were supposedly no opposers.

This is why I propose the first ever digital gaming boycott. I know in the past boycotts have always failed but that is because the cause was weak and we were not united. However, we cannot afford to stand idly by once again as EA continues to dictate what they think is best for us. We must present a united front or we will fail and EA will win. If they win here, then there is little we can do to stop them later. This is quite possibly not only our last stand, but our last chance to tell EA that we WILL NOT GO QUIETLY INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT, WE WILL NOT STAND BY ANY LONGER AS THEY NICKLE AND DIME US, WE DO NOT ACCEPT A GAMING COMMUNITY UNITED UNDER A DICTATORSHIP OF EA!!

political0083

On October 25, 2012 at 7:06 am

Hooray, the beginning of the end of EA, and the policymakers and decision makers for the publishing company can go to a different industry. Where their philosophy would make sense, ala Netflix or Gamefly type of company. Seriously CEO vision is in the wrong industry, and doubt it will ever catch on the way it is envisioned. This will be a perfect example to all publishers about pushing around and manipulating consumers.

Bob Phalange

On October 25, 2012 at 7:48 am

Man. Why did I buy MoH? Serious buyer’s regret, you guys.

Danny

On October 25, 2012 at 8:23 am

Seriously is anyone out there stupid enough to still be “buying” EA’s games?
They just need to die already so that some of the guys in the company that actually care about gaming can move on to something else. I would love to see all of the old Bioware guys working with Bethesda.
They would make a great team. IMO the sooner we are done with EA the better. They destroy everything they touch. I still really miss Westwood.

bfskinner

On October 25, 2012 at 9:01 am

anyone else think of the british version of “the office” whenever an EA exec speaks?

Kevin

On October 25, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Reminds me of a company I worked for. They supplied the auto industry. They frequently talked about how they needed to spend insane amounts of money on an upgrade that was “crucial to long-term stability.” While they were doing this, the auto industry was starting to decline already, so they were losing insane amounts of money.

5 years later, the company still exists, at maybe 15% the size it once was. But yup, the debt from that “long term stability” stuff is still there.

quicktooth

On October 25, 2012 at 9:01 pm

@Axetwin- sure thing :D . Boycotting already :D . Of course, I encourage everyone at every opportunity to do the same. Hope more people join in :D .