EA Games label president Frank Gibeau has claimed that games that lack an online component are “finished” in business terms because “online is where the innovation, and the action, is at”.
Speaking to UK trade site Develop
, Gibeau said: “I volunteer you to speak to EA’s studio heads, they’ll tell you the same thing,” he said. “They’re very comfortable moving the discussion towards how we make connected gameplay – be it co-operative or multiplayer or online services – as opposed to fire-and-forget, packaged goods only, single-player, 25-hours-and you’re out."
"I think that model is finished," he added. "Online is where the innovation, and the action, is at.”
Asked as to whether EA demand that their studios add a multiplayer component to every game, Gibeau said his job is more to "inspire" developers to consider the commercial ramifications.
“It’s about collaboration – looking at being both critically acclaimed and commercially successful,” he said to Develop. “It’s both, and I like to give studios a lot of creative autonomy, and that’s certainly proven by the types of games we’ve brought out over the last couple of years."
"I mean, EA used to be against M-rated content," he continued. "Go check out Dead Space
[laughs]. It’s one of my core cultural studio values to allow developers to decide more on what they want to build. And a studio’s creative call needs to be balanced against a commercial imperative, and if you look at online these days – that’s the place to be."
Gibeau's comments echo themes given by CFO Eric Brown at the UBS's 38th Annual Global Media and Communications Conference
, who discussed how EA is trying to "extend the revenue derived from a physical disc in the digital world" through online, downloadable content.