In an exclusive interview with MCV, EA Sports boos Peter Moore has outlined an ambitious plan to transform FIFA from a franchise that relies on annual disc-based releases to a persistent online game that evolves on a continuing basis.
“Football for most of us is pretty constant,” Moore stated. “This year there was, what, a 15 day off-season. And even then we were thinking about it and reading about it. That’s the space football occupies in our lives and that’s how we’ve got to look at it.
“We need to provide that persistent world, maybe sometimes powered by discs, maybe on social networks, or the cloud or whatever. That’s’ the team’s vision, that no matter where you are or what you’re using, there’s a FIFA experience to be had, it all links together, it lifts your level up and identifies your status.
“Personally I still think there’ll be discs five years from now. But generally yes, of course, I think there will come a time when FIFA is less a disc that you wait for in late September/early October, and more something that we provide 365 days a year.
“In a few years time I expect to have less of a team developing and as many if not more doing live operations.”
Of course, FIFA already exists in this guise to a certain extent via the cloud-based FIFA Superstars, which now enjoys 4.3m average monthly users.
“The business model’s simple: you accept that the vast majority of users will never pay you a penny and you learn to be cool with that,” Moore explained. “Plus you get people like me who want deeper engagement, and can’t sit still waiting for their three daily match credits or whatever, so we pay to accelerate our gameplay and create better teams, and that’s nice but it’s not really the point.
“What you are now starting to see is some linkage between FIFA Superstars and unlocking some features in FIFA 11. It’s baby steps towards persistence and presence for a full FIFA eco system.”
MCV’s full interview with Peter Moore will appear online later today, or can be read in this week’s MCV magazine.