EA’s Peter Moore has taken some time to explain the strategy behind his company’s Gamescom presentation, which struck some as favoring Microsoft over Sony.
The competition this console generation is expected to be tougher than ever between the rival Xbox One and PlayStation 4, with both platforms hitting shelves at almost the same time.
With this in mind, the revelation that all European pre-orders of the Xbox One would receive a free copy of FIFA 14 was something of a shock.
In an interview with GamesIndustry International, Moore explained this move wasn’t because his company was betting on the Xbox One over the PlayStation 4, it was just about timing and that there were many deals in place with both companies.
“We have relationships with both companies that go back many many years, so I think that what you saw yesterday was, just from a phasing perspective, you saw a little bit more of the Microsoft stuff,” he said.
“We have a lot of partnership opportunities with Sony, with the PlayStation 4, which we have done for many many years, that maybe we should start talking more about.”
Moore says its important to publishers that both consoles perform well, and that his company isn’t playing favorites.
“But it may have seemed that way, I don’t think that we’re favouring one over the other, we love them both dearly,” said Moore.
“It’s important to the publishing community that both are very successful and I think they will be very successful.”
“Microsoft has been very aggressive with us, as had Sony, we’re a very powerful publisher obviously, that has the ability to deliver great content and makes a difference on their platforms, and they want to make sure they get that.”
It’s not just that giving away a free copy of FIFA sounds like EA is choosing a side though; any publisher that offers up its top-selling franchise as a freebie is going to turn heads regardless of the situation.
The reasoning is that Microsoft feels that it’s behind the PlayStation brand in the European market, so it was important that the company found a way to drive sales in the region.
“Microsoft, particularly in Europe, feels it needs to catch up a little bit with the PlayStation brand and this is one way to do it,” explained Moore.
“You take soccer and you add Europe to the mix and then you bring it together. And I suspect as well Microsoft is looking at ways to add value, as I’m sure Sony is here to make the price points feel a little bit more of a bargain. We sat down a while back and talked about this and that’s how it happened.”