April 26, 2018
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EA Sports considers ‘Fifa,’ ‘Madden’ without annual releases, on car dashboards

Cristiano Ronaldo in EA’s football sim ‘Fifa 18’. — Handout via AFPCristiano Ronaldo in EA’s football sim ‘Fifa 18’. — Handout via AFPLOS ANGELES, Nov 10 — The CEO of Electronic Arts, Andrew Wilson, is open to considering a move away from yearly editions of its Fifa and Madden franchise, with online updates or subscriptions taking precedence instead.

One of the great certainties of the video game release calendar has been the annual updates to Electronic Arts sports franchises.

The publisher is especially well known for its football simulation, Fifa, and the American Football equivalent Madden NFL.

And just as physical sports teams change their personnel during the off-season, and organising bodies tweak rules and tournament formats, so Electronic Arts brings new kits, squads, and features to its dominant franchises on an annual basis.

As sacrosanct as it may seem, that may not always be the case.

Speaking to Bloomberg TV, CEO Andrew Wilson indicated that he was already thinking “about those games as a 365-day, live service” rather than annual releases.

In fact, Fifa Mobile Soccer and NFL Mobile, EA’s successful smartphone spin-offs, have both pulled away from the yearly release schedule as far as the core games are concerned.

Instead, those app’s players can expect to receive larger season-by-season updates separated by a series of smaller maintenance patches that provide various fixes and adjustments.

And region-specific Korean and Chinese implementations of the Fifa franchise are already non-annual with seasonal updates.

Not only that, but the streaming and subscription business is going to have an indelible impact on the future of video gaming, just as it has on music, films, TV, and literature, according to Wilson.

“When we design a game that lives in a true streaming world, we have to think about screen size and session time.”

“How does a Madden game that exists in the cloud manifest on your mobile phone one minute at a time, how does it manifest on your 60-inch TV an hour at a time, and how does it manifest on the dashboard of your car as you drive to work?” he asked. — AFP-Relaxnews

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