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EA Access tip of the spear for giving players new ways to pay
EA Access tip of the spear for giving players new ways to pay
August 18, 2014 | By Christian Nutt

"I want to deliver $1 of value if you want to spend $1, I want to deliver $10 of value if you want to spend $10."
- EA CEO Andrew Wilson

Last month, EA launched a new subscription program called "EA Access" which allows players to pay a flat monthly fee and gain access to (so far) four of its Xbox One games: Battlefield 4, Madden 25, Peggle 2 and FIFA 14.

In a new interview with, CEO Andrew Wilson says that realities of today's game market make it essential to give players different ways to engage with its catalogue of games.

"Back in the day it was all about delivering $60 of value; now, I want to deliver $1 of value if you want to spend $1, I want to deliver $10 of value if you want to spend $10," Wilson says.

The "digital transformation" means "we don't need to guess what players want any more," Wilson says. But one thing he has learned is that players want options. It's not about a single business model, but choices.

"I've moved from a belief that there will be one access model to rule them all, to the belief that our objective as a company is to provide access to our entertainment in ways that make sense to the growing population of players," Wilson says.

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Mark Dygert
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Honestly, most players are kind of like investors, in that they are looking for a better rate of return on their entertainment investment.

Thankfully entertainment value ≠ production costs.

Robert Carter
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'The "digital transformation" means "we don't need to guess what players want any more,"'

You never had to guess, we are pretty open about what we want. Not in focus groups, but with our actual wallets and, often times, in game forums.

We wanted Dead Space to be a horror game. Some of course wanted more action in it, but a nicely sized niche wanted it to be more on the horror side. EA laughs at niches, so they went with action. And in EAs words, the game was a financial failure. The pointless micro transactions in the game didnt help. The multiplayer didnt really add anything for me. People asked for horror game and you gave us gears of war lite. Amnesia made a profit, you shut down another studio.

Funny thing is, DeadSpace 3 was a good action game supposedly, and my room mate thinks its the best in the series since thats what he likes to play. They could have been successful with ignoring the niche audience if only they kept production costs under control. Its not about 'guessing what players want' its about keeping audience expectations realistic. You dont 'widen the demographic' by changing a games archetype, you shift it from one group to another.

If the new CEO thinks that their problem was that EA had to guess what we wanted, he wont fair any better than the last. I dont think in terms of "I want to spend $1" or "I want to spend $10", I think to myself "I want to buy a good game." I dont know how EA can function without understanding that.

Michael Joseph
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Could it be so simple? Maybe! Making games is not rocket science. Monkey see monkey do isn't a rational way to do things.

Blizzard has shown that so long as you consistently focus on super high quality, polished, professional releases you can create a strong brand and cultivate a loyal fan base. And having your brand held in high regard matters more than ever.

Recent article about the demise of Sea World made the assertion "It takes forever and a day for consumers to return to a company once they have walked away. And they usually never come back."

Start releasing buggy crap and your diehard fanbase will start to disintegrate. We've seen this with the Creative Assembly and their Total War series. Creative Assembly is hurting their own future with their short sightedness.

Your other point about the attempt to broaden Dead Space's audience by making fundamental changes to it's nature begs the question:


Surely it must be working or developers wouldn't keep trying to do it??? I think that if you have a really great game and you want more people to play it, you don't have to dumb it down, you just need to make it more polished which is to say, you don't need to strip functionality, just make existing functionality as intuitive and "as simple as possible, but not simpler." I think that's the message people should be taking away from Blizzard's approach to making games.

If developers want to change the fundamental nature of a game to make it more accessible, then why not create a new IP instead and leverage the good name of your company to market it? Game developers should be embracing opportunities to create new IP constantly.

p.s. And EA needs to STOP BULLYING their customers into either installing tech they don't want or placing unreasonable restrictions (that only benefit EA) on how they can play their games.