Posted on October 24, 2012, Ross Lincoln 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.