EA Games needs to embrace online 'as fast as it possibly can'

EA Games needs to embrace online 'as fast as it possibly can'
Michael French

By Michael French

August 18th 2008 at 1:58PM

Label president Gibeau says studios are moving 'from a fire-and-forget model to a service model'; wants more online titles

In an interview with CNET, EA Games label president Frank Gibeau has been further discussing the division's transformation since Electronic Arts' reorganisation last year, saying his next priority is "to move to an online model as fast as I possibly can".

EA reorganised itself last year around three labels - EA Sports, EA Games, EA Casual Entertainment and The Sims.

When asked what the challenges were facing his label, EA Games president Gibeau said:

"Job one is keeping our talent very high quality and very engaged in what we do. Ultimately, nothing happens unless we have the very best creators. I'm also trying to acquire new talent, either through relationships like EA Partners, or picking up companies like Pandemic and Bioware, or just recruiting outstanding individuals.

"Job two is I need to move to an online model as fast as I possibly can."

He elaborated: "If you look at our customers' behavior patterns, you're seeing them engaging with fully connected experiences. And I think we have IPs and ideas and expertise that can really allow us to do that. I think Spore is a connected experience. I think Battlefield is, and Warhammer. These can be very lucrative for us, and they can be very exciting from a developer standpoint, because you're moving from a fire-and-forget model to more of a service model, where you launch the game but you're thinking 24-7 about when's my first content pack, what's happening with telemetry, how are people playing the game, and how do I make their experiences better?

EA Games has a number of key online-specific games on the way, which include Maxis' EA Games-published Spore, DICE's Battlefield Heroes, and EA Mythic's Warhammer Online. But Gibeau said he wanted to add more to the portfolio:

"I'm just not interested in single-player-only experiences anymore. When we're green-lighting new ideas, we look at the team, we look at the IP and an important part of this is also looking at what is the online experience like, and how do we measure and capture an idea that's bigger than just a fire-and-forget model?"

Photo: CNET.