December 13, 2010

EA Shying Away From Single Player


Accord­ing to EA Games label pres­i­dent Frank Gibeau says the company’s new busi­ness mod­el, which includes shy­ing away from sin­gle-play­er games.  This will be sad news indeed for those of us who do not enjoy the mul­ti-play­er mod­el.
“We’re very com­fort­able mov­ing the dis­cus­sion towards how we make con­nect­ed game­play — be it coop­er­a­tive or mul­ti­play­er or online ser­vices — as opposed to fire-and-for­get, pack­aged goods only, sin­gle-play­er, 25-hours-and you’re out,” Gibeau said. “I think that mod­el is fin­ished. Online is where the inno­va­tion, and the action, is at.” says Frank.
This comes on a tail of the announce­ment that EA will be cut­ting it’s release line­up by 50%.
“I firm­ly believe that the way the prod­ucts we have are going, they need to be con­nect­ed online,” Gibeau said.
“We’re going to try out new price-points, and we’re going to try free-to-play mod­els with­in my group -– things like we did with Bat­tle­field 1943, which was a $10 XBLA game that did extreme­ly well,” he says.
If you read what has been said I don’t think it nec­es­sar­i­ly means that EA will stop pro­duc­ing Sin­gle-Play­er titles.  It most like­ly means that they will not be pro­duc­ing Sin­gle-Play­er only titles.  This does, how­ev­er, bring up some inter­est­ing ques­tions.  What will EA do with it’s cur­rent­ly pop­u­lar Sin­gle-Play­er IP’s such as Mass Effect and Drag­on Age: Ori­gins.  Both of those fran­chis­es are incred­i­bly pop­u­lar and the games are dri­ven on excel­lent sto­ry telling.
It’s fair­ly clear to me that this is sim­ply a busi­ness move.  By reduc­ing or com­plete­ly remov­ing the Sin­gle-Play­er com­po­nent from their games it removes a lot of the devel­op­ment costs.  You then cut out scripts, voice actors, cutscene artists, sto­ry lines and many oth­er things that go into devel­op­ing a game and you cut a good num­ber of devel­op­ment costs out of the equa­tion.  Fur­ther­more, if you cut out Sin­gle-Play­er, it makes it far eas­i­er to pre­vent pira­cy as you can’t get online with­out hav­ing an authen­tic ver­sion.  I sus­pect this is most like­ly the case.
There are sev­er­al games already out that don’t fea­ture a Sin­gle-Play­er com­po­nent such as Sins of a Solar Empire.
I per­son­al­ly think this comes down to greed.  They want more mon­ey and if they can cut a good por­tion of devel­op­ment costs out of the equa­tion they will ulti­mate­ly make more mon­ey off of the $60 price tag that gets attached to new releas­es.  What do you guys think?  Good rid­dance or a tragedy in the works?

6 comments

  1. ScrotusKilmystr - December 13, 2010 3:21 pm

    damn buy­ing a game will be like try­ing to pick the less­er of 2 evils being that Activi­sion and EA hold a large por­tion of the mar­ket!… and what about all the dev. com­pa­nies that are cur­rent­ly con­tract­ed with them like Bioware? Are the sim­ply going to think that SW TOR will car­ry the com­pa­ny? This is tru­ely sad to hear and video games as an art form will die because of it.…

    Reply
  2. uncasid - December 14, 2010 10:56 am

    Sigh… looks like gam­ing com­pa­nies are tak­ing the old GM / Ford route. Lets strip down what we are mak­ing to make it cheap and look like shit.. THAT WILL SELL!!!

    Reply
  3. zero_19 - December 15, 2010 3:36 pm

    Sounds like it’s a good envi­ron­ment for small com­pa­nies that make good prod­ucts to start mov­ing up the ranks. While I hate that EA and Activi­sion are behav­ing this way per­haps it will open doors for the small­er com­pa­nies.

    Reply
  4. thsoundman - December 15, 2010 4:39 pm

    I would actu­aly agree with this ass­es­ment. There are alot of good games com­ing out from inde­pen­dent devleop­ers.

    Reply
  5. T8 - December 17, 2010 9:13 am

    LOL i think i could get away with putting the same com­ment on every arti­cle. Ill stick with valve, they have been sooo good to me.

    Reply
  6. PimpmasterF - December 17, 2010 8:51 pm

    I hope some­one steps up to pro­duce what were all look­ing for.….QUALITY, and I think alot would be lost by tak­ing out the sin­gle play­er aspect of games, or at the very least mak­ing a sin­gle play­er game with online mechan­ics, I get cut­ting costs but I think alot of rev­enue will be lost if they do this too much. I like play­ing online sure but I love play­ing through a good sto­ry dri­ven sin­gle play­er cam­paign. I play online to grind and get my kill on, I play sin­gle cam­paign to get immersed in the story/plot line, I would­nt pay $60 for a game with­out sin­gle player.…maybe $40 if its top notch.

    Reply

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