The games industry is making a shift from a product model to a service model. What this means, in part, is that paying a large lump sum for games may be going out the window soon, something EA Sports senior VP of Worldwide Development Andrew Wilson is preparing for.
There will come a time where the consumer is simply not prepared to pay $60 up-front for a game anymore, the same way they have said that for movies and music and television, said. That’s one thing. And then I think, you’re right, it’s the global infrastructure that facilitates the shift. As soon as technology provides a viable alternative to a disc, then that process will change.
There is still the issue that many games take up significant swaths of data real-estate, clocking in between 25 and 50 GBs of data many consumers simply don’t have the bandwidth (or patience) for that sort of massive download. I think the most convenient way for the consumer to get 7GB worth of FIFA these days is still to buy it on a disc, said Wilson. That will change. I think that Football Club this year is turning the FIFA you buy on a disc into a live service that changes every day and every week that you play.
Over time, based on consumer feedback, those chunks that we deliver on that day-to-day, week-to-week basis are going to get bigger, and the releases that we do on an annual basis are going to get smaller, and ultimately you end up in a place where we are delivering a true, consumer-driven live digital service, added Wilson. We’re building architecture and infrastructure to facilitate a time when the pipes into consumer homes are big enough to move that kind of data around.