EA vindt single-player toch best belangrijk

EA heeft het afgelopen decennium wat moeite gehad met single-player games. “Overbodig en op het punt van uitsterven”, dat was een beetje de gedachtengang bij de uitgever en diens CEO Andrew Wilson. Maar tijden veranderen en gedachtengangen ook, want diezelfde Andrew Wilson vindt single-player games nu ineens superbelangrijk.

Dat heeft hij laten weten tijdens een zogeheten earnings call, waarin hem werd gevraagd hoe single-player games anno nu nog in het portfolio van EA passen. Sterker nog, Wilson had een hele speech paraat, zoals het een echte verkoper/CEO betaamt (via VGC).

“Our players, on balance, they have these core motivations—inspiration, escape, social connection, competition, self-improvement, creation—these things that bring us together as players of games.

“And the creation of worlds, the building of characters, and the telling of stories is really important in the fulfillment of some of those motivations.

“When we think about our portfolio and we think about building it out, we really think about it on two key vectors. One, how can we tell incredible stories? And two, how can we build tremendous online communities? And then how do we bring those two things together?

“So, when you look at our portfolio, what you should be looking for is, how are we doing that? How are we building these worlds and telling these stories? How are we developing global online communities? And how are we bringing those two things together for the fulfillment of motivations?

“What we see when we get that is, one, we grow our network, and two, we grow the amount of time that players in our network spend in and around our games.

“And as we think about single-player games, we think it’s a really, really important part of the overall portfolio that we deliver in the fulfillment of those core motivations.

“The way we plan for it over time is really just looking at our community, and looking at how they’re spending their time, and looking at where motivations may or may not be fulfilled. And we’ll look to supplement that with the addition of new online games, new multiplayer games, and new single-player games.”

Goed verhaal, Andrew. Lekker kort ook. Je had ook gewoon kunnen zeggen “Jedi: Fallen Order heeft been schijtlading geld opgeleverd, dus vinden we single-player wel weer oké”. Maar nee, weer een heel verhaal op een korte vraag. Betekent dit dat EA weer helemaal single-player-minded is? Dat niet direct. Want volgens EA’s CFO Chris Suh zijn het nog steeds live services die bijna driekwart van de opbrengsten in het laatje brengen.

“If we think about the model impact and the financial impact of it, I think the first thing to always keep in mind is that live services still encompass, on a trailing 12-month basis, over 70% of our business, and that has been a proven, very reliable, highly reoccurring revenue stream, and that will still be the predominant driver in our P&L [profit and loss] long-term,.

“Second, we’ve talked a lot about the areas of investment that we’re making, and that’s both in the live service as well as some of the single[-player] title launches that you’ve seen.

“And so over the course of time we’ll continue to invest, our long-term growth will continue to invest in the ongoing, stable performance of our live services business and there’ll be some puts and takes along the way.”

Afijn, laten we vooral blij zijn dat EA were seen beetje is bijgedraaid. Anders hadden we ons nooit kunnen verheugen op de Dead Space remake, Jedi: Survivor, en heel misschien een Black Panther game.

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