EA wants to move to a subscription model like Netflix

Electronic Arts have been pushing subscription-based video games services like EA Access and Origin Access for Xbox One and PC. However, it seems they want to go even further than that.

At the Deutsche Bank Technology Conference today, the VP of investor relations, Chris Evenden, said EA is working behind the scenes to a completely streaming platform.

“We’ve been building an infrastructure both from a product and a marketing perspective so we can move our slate across to new platforms, and we can move with our games across to new platforms as well,” Evenden said. “So all of these things, we’ve been working on for five or more years now, actually. But I think it’s inevitable that the gaming entertainment world will move in much the same way that the music and video entertainment worlds have already moved, in the sense that people have moved from an ownership model to an access model. And you’ll see that in gaming, just as you’ve seen it with Spotify and Netflix in other media businesses.”

However, there are still roadblocks. The technology is ready to shift, as Evenden implies, but this wouldn’t work in areas that don’t have a massive online infrastructure.

“That infrastructure barrier is still there, but it’s shrinking very rapidly,” Evenden said. “And we think in the next couple of years, you’ll see some major technological announcements that will prove to be commercially significant in the next three to five years.”

Evenden argues that this will actually be cheaper for the end consumer after all is said and done, though.

“Right now if you want to play FIFA in the United States, it will cost you $460,” Evenden said. “You have to buy the game; you have to buy the console. In a streaming world, it could be $9.99 a month. The commercial details have to be worked out, but whatever number it ends up at is very much less than $460. So that extends your market, because all you need locally is literally a smart TV.”

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