Electronic Arts Talks Experimenting With Free to Play, Cross-Play, and Cloud Gaming

Electronic Arts Talks Experimenting With Free to Play, Cross-Play, and Cloud Gaming

Electronic Arts is interested in experimenting with free-to-play games, and sees cross-play and cloud gaming as a growth opportunity.

During today’s financial conference call for investors and analysts, Electronic Arts Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wilson and Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen talked about a few interesting topics like free-to-play, cross-platform, and cloud gaming.

Jorgensen mentioned that Electronic Arts is “interested in possibly experimenting” with a free to play stand-alone game that might be a shooter or another genre, but that’s not something they’re looking at for the Battlefield franchise for the moment.

Later in the call, Jorgensen explained that the publisher has been building free to play games in Asia for over ten years. They also have Star Wars: The Old Republic, and they are always looking at new models. They’re looking at a lot of the old franchises that they have, and asking themselves the question on whether there’s an opportunity to have a free to play version.

Wilson also mentioned that Electronic Arts is looking at key franchises to see how to deliver cross-platform play in a similar way that Epic Games’ Fortnite has, especially those titles that have a broad and diverse player base. Households normally have only one console, so the ability to have PC to console cross-play and console to mobile can bring families and friends together. EA thinks it’s “an important part of their future development profile.”

This applies to both current mobile games moving up to console and PC, and console and PC games being playable on mobile. We should expect more from the publisher on this in the future.

Wilson also talked about cloud gaming, mentioning that it delivers a “tremendous opportunity.” At the moment there are between two and three billion people playing games on mobile devices. EA believes that player base will continue to mature, and some of that is already being seen with Fortnite, with mobile players moving up to PC and consoles, and core gamers from PC and console spending more time with the game on mobile.

Thinking about cloud more broadly means delivering great access to games, “tremendous value” value to players, with “far lower friction.”  According to Wilson, it’s going to be a meaningful opportunity for EA in the future.

If you’re interested in hearing more about Electronic Arts’ financial performance in the past quarter, you can check out our dedicated article.