EA: Core Gamers “Uncomfortable” With Change And New Business Models
EA has let its COO Peter Moore off his restraints as he’s spoken out in a recent interview about how core gamers are uncomfortable with change and don’t like embracing new business models.
Considering our opinion of EA these days, I would say that Peter Moore’s words in this interview with GamesIndustry is very telling of the mentality that exists over at the publishing giant.
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Moore told GamesIndustry that while EA is excited about the future health of the games industry, it knows that some traditional gamers will take a longer time to be convinced that new innovations will be beneficial.
“I think we’re going into almost a golden age of gaming, where it doesn’t matter where you are, at any time, any place, any price point, any amount of time, there’s a game available to you,” Moore said.
“And our job as a company is to provide those game experiences. And then on our big franchises, tie them all together.
“I think the challenge sometimes is that the growth of gaming… there’s a core that doesn’t quite feel comfortable with that. Your readers, the industry in particular. I don’t get frustrated, but I scratch my head at times and say, ‘Look. These are different times.’
“And different times usually evoke different business models. Different consumers come in. They’ve got different expectations. And we can either ignore them or embrace them, and at EA, we’ve chosen to embrace them.”
Moore referred to the emergence of MP3s as an example of the danger that the games industry could come up against if it doesn’t adapt its policies regarding delivery of content.
“We as an industry have to embrace change,” he explained. “We can’t be music. We cannot be music.
“Because music said, ‘Screw you. You’re going to buy a CD for $16.99, and we’re going to put 14 songs on there, two of which you care about, but you’re going to buy our CD.’ Then Shawn Fanning writes a line of code or two, Napster happens, and the consumers take control.
“Creating music to sell is no longer a profitable concern. The business model has changed to concerts, corporate concerts, merchandise, things of that nature. Actually selling music is not a way of making money any more, except for a core group.”
One of the hottest sources of debate in today’s games is the free-to-play model and how it becomes
an abomination controversial when in the hands of publishers.
“I think the core audience that dislikes the fact that there are play-for-free games and microtransactions built into those… fine, I get that,” Moore said.
“As you know, I read all the stuff, and it is the most intelligent commentary on the web as regards games. There’s no doubt about that. But every now and again, and you’ve seen me do it, somebody will come in there and say something stupid that I think is beneath the site itself and beneath the industry.”
“I don’t think anybody has to like it,” Moore said. “I think that’s where it goes. It’s like me: I get grumpy about some things, but if the river of progress is flowing and I’m trying to paddle my canoe in the opposite direction, then eventually I’m just going to lose out. From the perspective of what needs to happen in this industry, we need to embrace the fact that billions of people are playing games now.”
I believe this interview is very revealing of EA as a publisher. While a response to this would be best served in a separate opinion piece, I have to say that Peter Moore seems to have ignored the fact that you can’t just cherry pick what works in the mobile gaming market (an entirely different market too) and think it will work with the console gamer market. That’s a big reason why your Dead Space franchise is, well, dead. Change is good, but when it’s progressive and beneficial to the industry. Not when it will fetch you more money, but inconvenience us.