Just as EA has announced Battlefield 1’s new competitive mode, Incursions, EVP of global publishing Laura Miele has told MCV that the publisher’s continued focus on live services has “shifted the entire company.”
She said: “There is an obligation that we have to players to keep content fresh and keep the services well rounded. We really feel like we earn our players’ time over the period of their game playing cycles. We look at our Net Promoter Score (NPS) monthly for all our games and I would say that has changed our perspective on the success metric. The relationship [between players and EA’s games], their happiness, their NPS score, are our number one primary success metrics for the company now. It’s no longer revenue. That has evolved how people feel about our games and, ultimately, how they feel about EA.”
She continued: “I really see it as a golden era of gaming right now, where players are at the centre of our business strategies, our game design and our execution. Internally at EA, we now measure player sentiment and player engagement over dollars or unit sales. We really have taken a really significant shift. We had players at our studio helping us to create [Battlefield 1’s new competitive gaming mode] and that’s why I think it’s a golden era for players, because they have such a strong voice in what we are creating.”
She further added that under Andrew Wilson’s leadership, EA has changed its “company pillars” and become “a ‘players first’ company.”
“Players are at the centre of everything that we do,” Miele (pictured) said. “To have players’ sentiment and engagement, and to have our teams rewarded for that – instead of units and revenue – has radically changed the way we think about services in games for players.”
This strategy has been incredibly successful with Battlefield 1, which has now reached a community of “over 21m players,” Miele told us.
“We launched the game in October and haven’t slept a day since,” she smiled. “We’re seeing the largest engagement the Battlefield franchise has ever seen and we’re not going to stop here.”
EA will apply the same successful strategy to its upcoming behemoths Star Wars Battlefront 2 and FIFA 18.
“We see our connection to our players as a solid consistent thread that we never want to break,” Miele said. “So from the moment we start telling them about a game to the moment the game comes to the market, and then has been out there for five or six years, we want to keep that thread as constant as possible, through our marketing, through our business strategy, to the game content itself.”
She concluded: “We’re taking our engagement and services to a new place which I’m incredibly excited about. We have all that ahead of us and EA has an incredibly long runway still in live services. We’ve enjoyed great success in where we are, but we have so much more we’re going to accomplish. We’re just beginning our journey.”