All games will become online services, says EA exec

All games will become online services, says EA exec

By Rob Crossley

June 15th 2009 at 10:34AM

Company COO John Pleasants foresees the internet's influence in the rapidly shifting games business

The traditional model where development ends after shipping a title will soon be history, according to EA’s President of Global Publishing and Chief Operating Officer.

John Pleasants joined EA in 2008 with a directive to take the company through new business models. He said that he joined EA because he wanted to work in online business, adding that “nothing is more ripe for the convergence of the Internet and media than games”.

Describing as EA as going through a transformation from a software company to a live services company, Pleasants told Venturebeat that “if you believe all games will eventually be services – as I do – then the idea of game teams that make a game, ship it, and then do something else goes away.”

Pleasants believes that the game design process will persist – for all games – after they have been sold to audiences. “They will now ship and day one begins when the customer gives feedback to the live service,” he said. He described the revolution to mass online media as akin to moving from Blockbuster to Netflix, and record labels to iTunes.

“The way you distribute will be different. The way you charge will be different. There will be more permutations in pricing. Merchandising will be much more important. Co-marketing will be much more important. You have to have persistent identification and entitlements for a user, no matter where they are or in what game they’re playing.”

The EA COO also claimed that new online models will ultimately drive costs down. For more on this, and to read how Pleasants embraces social gaming, go here for the full interview.