EA COO Peter Moore says the industry needs to explore new ways to help players discover new games.
The firm announced EA Access in July. For £4 a month, consumers have access to a ‘Vault’ of EA titles. To begin with, that Vault will include FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Battlefield 4 and Peggle 2, with more added over time.
The service is in beta, but its announcement has already impacted the industry. Global retailer GameStop saw its share price fall upon its announcement (although it has since rallied), while Sony has dismissed the service for not representing ‘good value’.
“I can’t speak for Sony,” says Moore. “This is something companies like ourselves have to do when we think about the future. We are trying to learn lessons from other media industries of how you can give options to people to, quite frankly, experience more games.”
He adds: “It’s amazing how often you bump into people and say: ‘Did you play that?’ And they haven’t. A lot of it is down to time, but some of it is also discovery.
“I am a Spotify Premium subscriber, and because I pay a fee for ‘all you can eat’, I get to listen to music that I ordinarily wouldn’t. And it will be the same for games; seeing what your friends are playing and giving it a go because you have something like EA Access.
“Gamers are overwhelmed. Steam does the sales. We do something called ‘On the house’, where we give a game away for free. We did that with Wing Commander. There are gamers that won’t have been born when that was out and we’re throwing it out there as a way of discovering new experiences. We’re doing more things like that. There’s so much stuff out there, and it’s expensive. You need to sample things and you need somebody or something to guide you through the whole thing.”