During Electronic Arts’ financial conference call for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018, Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wilson and Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen talked about the publisher’s plans for subscription services.
First of all, we hear that the publisher — which already offers EA Access and Origin Access for Xbox One and PC respectively– plans to “introduce a new offering” to one of its subscription programs, delivering “unprecedented access and value.”
Wilson also mentioned that in three to five years EA believes that cloud gaming (basically what is offered today by services like PlayStation Now) will “meaningfully” contribute to the way gamers interact with gamers. This will allow people not to be bound by devices or by their power, as they will exist in the cloud and they will be accessible on any platform. This means that EA is also going to work so that more of its games will be developed in ways that allow them to be experienced across various devices. Later in the call, we heard that the publisher could “partner with people as well as work on its own technology” to achieve this goal.
According to Wilson, the publisher is seeing “real move towards subscription” which is the “best and frictionless way to access content.” Due to this, while EA plans to keep offering its games through all the business models that gamers want, they expect them to move towards subscriptions as they have done in other industries. This will cause the subscription services to become a “far more meaningful” part of the publisher’s business and maybe even the majority in the coming years.
On top of that, “frontline content” (IE: new games) will become an important part of the content offered, and EA might “work collaboratively with other content creators and developers and publishers” to ensure that they have “a truly robust subscription offering.”
Jorgensen added that it’s safe to assume that Electronic Arts’ subscription strategy will “evolve quickly” and between this year and the next we will start to see new things coming to the services, which could be new third-party games, or “potentially at some point frontline titles.” On top of that, the publisher wants to add more “social layers” and more tools to the platform.
If you’re interested in reading more about Electronic Arts’ financial performance in the past quarter and fiscal year, you can check out our dedicated article.