EA's Peter Moore Clarifies His Point About All EA Games Being 'Online'

What does it mean when a man in Peter Moore's position says EA no longer makes 'offline' games? Does that mean all EA's games will require an always online connection? Does it mean all games will have multiplayer? Or does it simply mean the game will feature some sort of online connectivity? It's an easy thing to confuse, which is why EA's CEO Peter Moore took to his blog to clarify a few things.

Earlier this week Moore had stated that EA no longer makes offline games and, as you might expect, there was a reaction and that reaction wasn't always positive. Some worried it might be in reference to a Sim City style 'always-on' situation, which was a complete debacle for EA last time it attempted it.

But according to Moore, a game being 'online' merely means it has some sort of online feature.

Today, most games are “online” in some way, shape or form. Many games connect in online multiplayer modes; others include online services which allow for periodic content updates, sharing stats or achievements or connecting with friends; and others are games downloaded through digital delivery methods like Origin or the App Store. The reality is, the Internet and social connectivity touches every one of our titles today – and has for several years.
What that does NOT mean is that every game we ship will require an online connection. Many, if not most, of our games include single-player, offline modes that you can play entirely without an Internet connection, if you so choose. We know that’s something many of our players want, and we will continue to deliver it.

Peter Moore also wanted to clarify another rumour springing from his interviews: that EA was planning to integrate more free-to-play options in its biggest franchises. Again, claims Moore, this was misconstrued.

I also see confusion about our plans for free-to-play games. Many of our most popular franchises for PCs and mobile – including Battlefield, Need for Speed, FIFA, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Plants vs. Zombies and now Madden NFL, to name a few – already offer free-to-play experiences. Command & Conquer is another exciting new free-to-play game coming online later this year. However, NOT ALL of EA’s games will offer a free-to-play mode. We will continue to explore new free-to-play experiences for our franchises when we believe there is gamer interest and a cool new game we can build. But of course we will continue to deliver award-winning core gaming experiences on ALL of these franchises.

So, EA: not making all its games 'always on' and not making all of its franchises 'free-to-play'.

[Exhales]


Comments

    Where does Dead Space 3 fit into this whole thing? Paying full price for a game that is specifically made to make you spend on microtransactions is unbelievably awful business practice.

      I just finished Dead Space 3 with a friend last night, didn't spend a cent.

        It's possible to play a lot of freemium games without spending a cent. Doesn't mean the game wasn't designed to make playing it hit your compulsion centres i order to spend.

        The game was deisgned to give you almost enough resources to get what you want, but always almost... never enough. It then becomes a battle between frustration and impulsiveness to not give them money in little chunks. This is a shitty way to design a game of any sort. This is an unbelievably shitty way to design a game that cost $60USD.

          A good analysis of all the bastard psychological tricks here:
          http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/RaminShokrizade/20130626/194933/ - Wargaming America's economist talks about the ways in which F2P exploits players.

          Excerpt:
          "This additional stress is often in the form of what Roger Dickey from Zynga calls “fun pain”. ... This involves putting the consumer in a very uncomfortable or undesirable position in the game and then offering to remove this “pain” in return for spending money."

            The most interesting part of that quote is that being in that uncomfortable position is pretty much the reason to play dead space.

          Yeah, I guess I did find myself short of anything besides scrap metal and healy gel.

          At least you can keep your inventory over games though, right? ...That is how it works, right?

            Not sure. Haven't played it much yet. To be honest it's not a shadow of the first or second. I won't play it twice.

      Ultimately, the way I view it is that microtransactions are an option for people who aren't badass long term gamers like us, the kind of people who would struggle on easy and occasionally have to look down at the controller when prompted to press X to remember which one it is. Personally I think that's the kind of thing that should be built into the game with a Very Easy For Babies difficulty rather than exploited for profit but then I'm not a money grubbing arsehole.

      I say ignore it since it doesn't affect you (unless you're one of the aforementioned babies) and play the game the hard way

        It absolutely affects both of us. They have fundamentally changed the design of the game to make it an exploitative experience from the ground up.

        Why should the game cost more if you aren't good at it? That's exactly the kind of quick buck short sightedness that brought the industry to the brink of death in its infancy. Punishing people financially for trying a type of game they may not know or excel at is a great way to stop people trying things.

        Why should I be forced to pay full price for a game that has had actual time, money, and work put into making it an unbalanced and fundamentally less entertaining experience?

        Neither side of your argument matches with good business practice or good customer service. The only justification you've given is a combination of "I'm better than those fake casuals; I'm a Real Gamer" and the misguided logic that this doesn't change your experience. One of those is elitist arse-hattery and the other is demonstrably false.

      I agree, it's unethical as all hell for a game developer to develop a game like that. But it makes a profit, and ultimately that is what the gaming industry has become about. Not about creating great games, but about turning over the maximum possible profit for the minimum possible investment. Don't like it? Feel free to vote with your wallet, but there's millions of casual gamers out there who don't give a crap about what many refer to as "the gaming experience" as it used to be.

        I vote with my wallet and wish others would, too.

        Some companies are able to turn a profit without underhanded tactics. Many of those include companies making games with micro transactions. Tribes: Ascend and Planetside 2 are fantastic examples. So is TF2.

    I'll be waiting until the The Sims 4 launch before I put any money down on it and I know that many others will be doing the same. The SimCity fiasco will remain in the minds of many Maxis fans. From what they are saying now, it will remain largely offline with some connectivity similar to how The Sims 3 is now... but they said that about SimCity in the early and middle development as well and look how that turned out.

    What he meant is ifyoutrytoplayanEAgameofflineyou'regonnahaveabadtime.jpg

    As far as I can tell, Sim City is still a single player game, but requires you to be online. Where was EA delivering a proper single-player, offline experience there? Beating a dead horse maybe, but a lot of people, myself included, have been completely put off EA from that

    It would be interesting with mirrors edge 2 being open world they could have a system similar to watchdogs multiplayer. Where other players turn up in the game as runners and you need to meet up somewhere to exchange packages

      Mmm. Yes. And what would make that better if it were an option - an enhancement, to entice you online, where EA gets the benefit of higher socially-influenced retention and peer-pressure sales.

      An enhancement. An incentive. Preferably one that isn't worse for being online which doesn't eat your savegames or deny you access. Not a Sim City'esque stick to beat you with if you have the temerity to try and experience a truly single-player experience without giving EA those delicious social retention/sales benefits.

      Here's hoping they've learned.

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