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There will be “a time somewhere at some point in the future” where subs are introduced, says EA Sports chief

Monday, 25th July 2011 15:19 GMT By Johnny Cullen

EA Sports SVP Andrew Wilson has said that there will come “a time” when the company will start dishing out subs to access its content.

“If we look at what consumers have pushed other industries for: if we look at what consumers forced the music industry to provide, if we look at what consumers have driven as a result of television and movie subscription, if you look at us – there’s absolutely a time somewhere at some point in the future where the consumers say, ‘Hey, this is how we want to interact with you: we want to give you a monthly or annual subscription and we want access to everything you make,” Wilson told Eurogamer.

“They get to drive the time and place for it, and a lot of it is technology dependent, but absolutely we can see a future where that might be the way we deliver games.”

Wilson said the latest addition to the EAS brand, a new studio in Austin, Texas, will help bring to reality that vision, adding that “one of the things we’re driving is EA Sports as a service.”

He added: “It’s less about the generation and more about internet infrastructure.

“The thing about consoles [is] that’s a lot of content: six, seven gigs of information. Right now there are some places in the world where you can move that size of information around relatively seamlessly; there are a lot of places you can’t.”

It comes after a leaked memo from earlier this year showed that EA Sports was planning something called Persistant ID.

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19 Comments

  1. DeVitowned

    Let’s look at Rockstar’s game pass for a moment. $9.99-11.99 for access to all current and future DLC is what I consider an acceptable practice. Even including such a benefit with every new disc or limiting it to the first million would be a great practice. However, thinking consumers WANT a subscription for something we already get, or should be included with the price of the game? EA, Activision and the rest of you publishers, read my lips:

    GO FUCK YOURSELF!

    If by what he’s saying that they’ll charge a fee to download a version of Madden 20XX or FIFA, and that every year of the subscription we get constantly updated rosters, new features and modes as well as performance and graphics updates, they might interest people if the price is right. Still, people like myself still want physical media and I don’t feel like spending full price for something I won’t own.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Phoenixblight

    ” Still, people like myself still want physical media and I don’t feel like spending full price for something I won’t own.”

    Better get out of gaming because thats the direction it is going. It removes retailers from taking a cut from their profit and it stops 2nd hand sales. Even Gamestop and Gamefly are getting ready by buying digital retailers.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. DeVitowned

    @Phoenixblight

    Which is why I am extremely wary to buy anything off the PSN, iTunes or XBLA. I do a fair bit of shopping on Steam as well, but I figure as long as I own a PC and can have temporary connection to the Internet, I can still play those games indefinitely. I wonder how Sony and Microsoft will handle their network purchases from this generation to the next?

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Phoenixblight

    @3

    Don’t know, I wish I had the answers to those. But I see no reason why they wouldn’t keep them, its not like they will be overhauling the entire system and deleting everything on their servers just because its a new gen. MS and Sony both know they need to be Backwards compatible to make the transition from one gen to another to be successful. Plus you can play the game on the current systems whether you are online or offline it has no required connection.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Ge0force

    I will never pay for any subscription to play games, unless it’s heavily server based (MMO). But since millions of people don’t mind paying for Live, to get access to p2p-gaming and a bunch of free 3rd party online services, it’s only a matter of time before you need a subscription for anything. Call of Duty Elite is only the beginning.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. DSB

    I don’t think anyone is dreaming about a million publisher-backed subscriptions or services.

    Once the producers start opening their own shops and turn the scene into a proprietary clusterfuck, the costs of maintaining subscriptions are going to balloon far beyond the levels of the services that have actually made it work, and the convenience is going to be non-existent, since the added compartmentalization will put us right back where we started, once again leaving the door wide open to piracy.

    The thing that makes things like Steam and especially Netflix great is that they can rival the pirates every step of the way, while allowing people to go legit. Less is more, in every respect.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Phoenixblight

    @6

    Piracy will always be an issue no matter what, they aren’t doing it for principle but because its much easier to get it for free and compile the file and play then to py the price. Once Publishers are picking up on cloud gaming and the we get the bandwidth to support it. Piracy will be dead.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. DSB

    @7 For a significant ammount of people, within the range of those who might actually pay, it’s simply a question of the quality of the product that’s offered. Plenty of people with great jobs pirate their stuff, even if they can easily afford it, and only have to wait 24-48 hours for someone to ship it, that’s still not as good a product as one that’s instantly available at a click of a button.

    That’s ultimately the reason why Netflix, iTunes, Spotify and Steam have provided the first real drop in piracy, and a significant rise in profits for producers.

    If we start making it inconvenient by confusing people with a million subscriptions, adding up to a far higher expense, then people will stop playing along. It’s as easy as that.

    Pirates will always be ready to offer you a better product, at no charge. You don’t have to worry about cost (much like Netflix) and which comes without annoying DRM. Currently a lot of publishers are struggling to deliver a product of similar quality. All you can do is make it easy and enjoyable to do the right thing.

    Cloud gaming is going to change the whole industry, but for all its promise, it still has a lot of problems to solve.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Phoenixblight

    “Cloud gaming is going to change the whole industry, but for all its promise, it still has a lot of problems to solve.”

    No you think? Its in its infancy right now and we have atleast another generation until its fully supported.

    “only have to wait 24-48 hours for someone to ship it, that’s still not as good a product as one that’s instantly available at a click of a button.” That’s what I had said they are greedy bastards that are looking for instant gratification and for free. They want to have their cake and eat it too. They just build up their own logic to why they do it.
    There are services like Gamefly where you pay for a sub and can play the game for how long you want at a fixed price. I have played Fear 3, Halo: Reach, Shadow of the Damned and I will have Catherine tomorrow and all I had to pay is 16$ all within a month. No fishing around the net and after downloading 10gbs hoping it works and hoping whoever modified the file didn’t put a virus on it. I could go even one step further and say we have these vending machines that now stock video games for 2$ a night, that’s where I had played Duke Nukem and other games. So people who are pirates are just being assholes. They are scum and are the reason why the industry puts DRM and other services on their games. There is no justification for what they do.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. DSB

    @9 Merely pointing out that cloud gaming isn’t a cure-all, that the industry can simply fall back on, until they actually make it work. They still need to make money until then.

    Right, pirates are super super bad. But also a very convenient way to try and explain to your shareholders why your profits are down, which is obviously why publishers prefer to waste money on lawyers and DRM, instead of actual scientific study of the problem ;)

    If piracy was as big a problem as has been described since the early 90′s, the industry wouldn’t exist today. It’s that simple. The only truly existential crises of the industry has been at the hand of publishers who’d rather flood the market with shovelware, rather than commit to quality products.

    You’re right though, pirates are super duper evil! And if you stick to that overly simplistic and morally indignant view, then you have absolutely no shot of ever making a profit off of them, like the above named services have very much achieved, simply by catering to their tastes, and making it worth everybody’s time and money.

    The companies who chose to learn from piracy, rather than simply playing the useless game of whack-a-mole, that most of the industry has been playing for decades now, are making profits while everybody else is losing money. That says absolutely everything.

    You’re always going to make more money by saying “Buy my product – And you won’t regret it!” than by saying “Buy my product – Or else!”. If you build walls with poor DRM, indulgent subscriptions and other inconveniences, people will stay out. It’s the people who knock them down, who are making the money.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Phoenixblight

    “You’re always going to make more money by saying “Buy my product – And you won’t regret it!” than by saying “Buy my product – Or else!”. If you build walls with poor DRM, indulgent subscriptions and other inconveniences, people will stay out. It’s the people who knock them down, who are making the money.”

    Absolutely 100% correct. Some Publishers are not confident about what their game is so they build up the super bad ass DRM like Ubisoft with AC. That money could have been put into the actual development. I feel bad for the people that buy it and get punished because of the fear of pirates.

    “Right, pirates are super super bad. But also a very convenient way to try and explain to your shareholders why your profits are down, which is obviously why publishers prefer to waste money on lawyers and DRM, instead of actual scientific study of the problem ”

    Again agree but they also have to protect themself from the people are just doing it to get a free game because that is money being taken away from them.

    “Merely pointing out that cloud gaming isn’t a cure-all, that the industry can simply fall back on, until they actually make it work.”

    Not yet no, like I said its in its infancy and we need a better internet infrastructure and publishers need to get behind it to be successful. We have a long way to go and thats why I believe we have atleast 10 more years until its popular enough to do it. Onlive has it going but the catalog of games are pretty shit but what they do with the service is pretty good; demo for an hour, rent the game, or just straight out “buy” it which is more like renting but at a long time period(3 years)

    #11 3 years ago
  12. DSB

    @11 Piracy isn’t going anywhere though. It doesn’t change because you ruin some guys life in a high profile case, or because you shut down a torrent site that you know is going to be replaced by three more.

    It’s a bit like the war on drugs to me. I can understand the anger, but I can’t understand the justification for throwing serious money away on measures that do absolutely nothing to help your cause.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Phoenixblight

    ” Piracy isn’t going anywhere though.” It will once Cloud gaming is dominant because there will be no way to pull that information from the server unless you have direct access to and even then you still won’t be able to.

    “It doesn’t change because you ruin some guys life in a high profile case, or because you shut down a torrent site that you know is going to be replaced by three more.”

    I know this. I know that going after them is like killing fleas with just using your foot. I honestly would just put the money used in DRM and make a service much like steam and let it do that where its not intrusive and doesn’t stop me from playing because I forgot to “check in” It will always be there just go with it and look at making more quality games and while try to invest in services using Cloud and offer the same thing as Netflix like you stated. I am not supporting DRM like SPore or like Ubisoft used on AC or any other system that stops paying customers from playing if its like Steam or Orgin I am all for it.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. DSB

    Time will tell, I guess. Cloud gaming first has to conquer the market. Even when they do come up with a viable system, people will still need to accept it.

    I mean we’ve had digital distribution services for what, 8 years or so? And people are still shopping in actual stores! Would you believe it? That’s like cooking on a wooden stove, dude. Or using a telephone with an actual dial.

    I definitely believe in cloud gaming, and cloud computing as a whole, but I think there are a lot of variables. First there’s the internet infrastructure, which is a pretty huge thing to either replace or upgrade. Not that we can’t or won’t do it, but it’s going to take some time.

    Then there’s the question of what people might do to circumvent it. I have no idea.

    And then there’s simply choice. For some people it will still be a question of choice whether to go cloud or not, piracy obviously hasn’t made the current model unviable. For indies it might not be worth the costs. And what will those costs be? Netflix just ran into a pricehike which is definitely going to lose them some customers (to the torrent sites, no doubt).

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Phoenixblight

    “Netflix just ran into a pricehike which is definitely going to lose them some customers (to the torrent sites, no doubt).”

    Its like 2-3$ if people are throwing a fit over a few measely dollars than they have bigger issues. Netflix is offering more options and has a wide variety of movies that is constantly growing I can spare a few dollars for it. I just use streaming and if there is a movie I want to see via Bluray or DVD I just go to the red box and pay a dollar to see it for the night.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. DSB

    Yeah, it won’t be the end of the company obviously, but I think everything counts in terms of bringing people into the fold. Every little margin in terms of convenience, straight down to limiting click-to-sale, and price.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Joe_Gamer

    Suck it sports fans, with their franchise monopoly you won’t even be able to go to a competitor.

    Cloud gaming? Hehe you guys are funny. I’ll believe in it when some ISP’s get on board, until then it’s nothing but a house of cards built on a foundation of shifting sands.

    Yes I have used on-live, Yes I have fast internet, yes I even live right next to the damn servers, and no the service isn’t any good. at the end of the day it is worse in every way than just putting a disc in the damn 360, not even gonna compare it to gaming on PC.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Phoenixblight

    @17

    Than its your router because I use it quite frequently and I have never had any issues other than crappy catalog. ISPs don’t need to be involved with cloud gaming so I am not sure what you are talking about. The only thing ISPS need to do is improve bandwidth and infrastructure that is it. ANd it is the future that is why Bill Gates left Microsoft. He had seen what cloud could do and said “game over I am leaving before this hits the fan.”

    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/saas/ozzie-signals-microsofts-surrender-to-the-cloud/476?tag=mantle_skin;content

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Joe_Gamer

    You’re a funny guy Phoenix. “ISPs don’t need to be involved with cloud gaming” Soooo metered broadband, data caps, line sharing, line overselling, Traffic discrimination and QOS throttling couldn’t possible have any effect on cloud gaming right? That’s like saying roads aren’t important for cars. “Then it’s your router” I have used both the DGL-4300 and the WNDR-3700 with on-live, It is not my router, I just have higher standards then you. I never said it was “unusable” only that it is worse than current console gaming and much, much, worse than PC gaming.

    #19 3 years ago

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