Electronic Arts’ Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen spoke on behalf of EA during the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday. Most of the conversation revolved around EA’s plans to transition from the current gen (gen three) and into the upcoming one (gen four), and they’re doing so by focusing on their core IP for most of 2014 and into 2015 while keeping their spending on R&D under $100 million dollars. That part of the conversation wasn’t too surprising, considering that EA is known to push their big franchises for some time now.
What was interesting was a comment made about backwards compatibility, or rather the lack there of. “An important thing to remember is that next-gen consoles will most likely not be backwards compatible…” said Jorgensen about the upcoming generation. But he also added how a missing feature like backwards compatibility hinders EA’s audience from upgrading immediately, as fans of their sports franchises will be hesitant to take the plunge on new hardware considering that most of their friends will still be playing on “gen three” devices; at least initially.
It’s an interesting take on how missing features like backwards compatibility can even affect those who are making the games. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that Jorgensen is wrong about this one, but considering how long they’ve (likely) had their hands on next gen development kits, his estimation is probably spot on.