EA Sports president Peter Moore has claimed that the label will become a more important to sports fans than Nike, Adidas, Sky Sports and Fox in future – as it bids to become the “world’s leading sports brand”.
Speaking at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival this morning in a loudly applauded presentation, Moore said that new developments such as Dynamic DNA – which updates in-game players’ profiles online each day in games such as NBA Live – will provide sports fans with “personal access to emotions” that set it apart from other sports brands.
Moore commented: “Can we compete with Nike, Adidas, Sky Sports and Fox? Absolutely. Not only will we be the world’s leading sport entertainment brand, we’ll provide personal access to the emotion of sports. That really differenatiates us.
“We deliver that emotion, from the start of the game all the way through broadcast [quality] technology, crowd reaction, AI and more. Everything we do is built to deliver the emotion of sports. We believe no other sports brand can do that. ‘In the game’ is more than a tag line to our developers - it’s their mantra.”
Moore discussed the ‘reorganisation’ of EA two years ago and his label’s movement away from being a “burning platform” to a thriving division in the publisher’s portfolio.
“We noticed that the entire business model of delivering realism [in sports games] was slowly beginning to erode,” he added. “We had to take drastic measures, and storm the battlefield of new business models. We made some very painful decisions.
“The key issues we faced were a reputation for making iterative titles, and packaged goods only. We were struggling on the Wii, and there was unrest in our community, as well as worry about where our exclusive licences were going. We were also aware of the erroneous perception that all EA Sports games were roster updates, that there was no innovation. And we were slow into direct digital relationships with consumers.
“Constantly great companies have to reinvent themselves and their business model, and we had to do the same. As an ex-Microsoft guy, I’d say we hit CTRL ALT DEL. Sports games had to evolve to serve the tastes, platforms and delivery systems our consumers looked for.”
Moore said that EA Sports was now over two years into a five-year plan, and had made drastic strides away from the outdated model he was faced with when joining the firm in 2007.
“In 2007/2008, the industry grew by 20 per cent, but the sports market was flat, or even down,” he said, adding that the firm had built a new, forward-looking model on the principles of “authenticity, innovation, competition and lifestyle”.