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EA: All Our Games Must Include Online And Digital Services

We've known for a while that multiplayer gaming is huge. Some fans of single-player entertainment worry that multiplayer will eventually, inevitably dominate.

Well, there's a lot of money to be made with such widespread appeal, and most of the major publishers realize they can't even release a single title without multiplayer possibilities.

Take Electronic Arts, for example. In a new promotional pamphlet that discusses the future of cloud gaming, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau made it plain:

"I have not green lit one game to be developed as a single-player experience. Today, all of our games include online applications and digital services that make them live 24/7/365."

Of course, we can't forget that EA publishes a ton of games, including RPGs where the single-player experience takes center-stage (BioWare's products lead the pack). That being said, it's clear what Gibeau is saying: His company simply won't produce a game that doesn't have some semblance of multiplayer attached to it, and that's that. It's amazing how quickly things can change in this industry, isn't it? Rewind just five or six years to the start of this generation, and such a philosophy wasn't so widespread. Rewind ten years and it makes zero sense.

Yes, the dinosaurs (that's me!) have difficulty keeping up.

Tags: ea, electronic arts, gaming, multiplayer gaming, single player games, gaming industry

9/5/2012 8:43:09 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (29 posts)

BikerSaint
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 9:27:35 PM
Reply

Then EA's going to miss out on producing some very good games in the future.

Oh well, at least that's good news for those producers & publishers who do care about SP only games.

EA's loss!

Last edited by BikerSaint on 9/5/2012 9:28:15 PM

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xenris
Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 8:16:07 AM

I dont get why you got thumbed down it is true. EA has not impressed me in the last year, in fact I pretty much hate them more than ever.

Thinking that you need to put multiplayer in every game is just ridiculous and an obvious attempt at DRM, and too justify those online passes.

Is it that hard for people to just live by this philosophy. Make a good game and people will find and play it.

No instead EA puts more money into marketing and PR, and shoves BS multiplayer into games that do not need it. Not only is it a waste of resources but you can see the quality suffer, usually you get mediocre multiplayer, and mediocre single player, or at the very least unpolished.

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Beamboom
Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 9:02:34 AM

EA is responsible for one of the best coop franchises this gen imo: The SKATE series. *Excellent* games, but best enjoyed online.

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BikerSaint
Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 9:51:52 AM

xenris,

Ha, I think some people just don't like me & thumb down my name, but if so, then all I can say is that it's just....

"Tough f*cking sh!t for them"

Last edited by BikerSaint on 9/6/2012 9:53:05 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 10:53:28 AM

Hey Biker I PMed ya in the forums

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BikerSaint
Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 1:48:15 PM

World,
OK, I'll go check the PM's.

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BikerSaint
Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 2:23:11 PM

World,
OK just send a reply back.
BTW, you might get 2 replies because I wasn't sure if I did it right the 1st time, LOL.

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bebestorm
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 10:14:42 PM
Reply

I dont get obsession with online play! All games dont need it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 10:36:59 PM
Reply

I think it's a waste of money and resources for games like Dragon Age and Mass Effect and Dead Space, but that's just my opinion. Perhaps it actually does pay off for them. Seems like it would cost a lot to run all those needless servers all day.

Puts me in mind of something I just read from the team that did Spec Ops: The Line. One dude said multiplayer wasn't something they were interested in, it was just a "BOX" that had to be checked in order to be allowed to make their game. That sort of thing makes me ill.

Want a great SP experience? You might have to go back and play your old systems.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 11:00:59 PM

I think I remember reading a news story within the past year that claimed about 30% of Mass Effect's profits came through DLC. It's a rough recollection but I believe it was something along those lines.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 11:15:24 PM

So it would come down to how much of that is multiplayer DLC and what it costs to run those servers.

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xenris
Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 8:24:17 AM

I read that article too World, and it was pretty gross.

But it is exactly what is wrong with the industry as a whole. This whole pushing to make everything multiplayer, and pushing unethical DLC nonsense is ruining the industry.

I also agree, with the resource wasting. When a dev claims that nothing is going to be compromised from the multiplayer I call BS, and look to ME3 as a prime example of the single player lacking the polish that ME2 had. When I say polish I don't mean the silly endings as that much is obvious, I mean things like textures, lip sync, animations etc.

All in all, it seems like a waste. None of the fans of the first mass effect ever even hinted that they wanted multiplayer but low and behold apparently someone at EA thought that we did.

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Highlander
Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 10:43:42 AM

You guys have seen nothing yet as far as DLC is concerned. Namco monetizes DLC better than anyone I have seen in Japan. That will happen here in the end, but it's not about multi-player there. It's about limited virtual accessories and extra content in a game. The trick is of course ensuring that there is sufficient content in a game to make it worth the purchase while making the DLC attractive enough to charge premium prices.

EA would do very well to examine just how much money Namco can squeeze from games like Idolm@ster which sells an obscene amount of DLC in Japan.

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Dancemachine55
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 11:19:07 PM
Reply

Trophies and achievements tied to online play? Pass

Servers that will be shut down after 3 or 4 years making multiplayer on a game a useless feature? You bet!

Cutting back development costs on a fantastic single player campaign to make multiplayer shine? It will happen.

Sorry EA, you're driving away many potential customers with this BS. Thank GOD Sony still make incredible games for single player lovers like The Last of Us and Beyond Two Souls.

Only EA game I'm getting is Dead Space 3, since me and my 360 loving mate love the series so much.

Oh, and EA, if you want money, more split screen or local multiplayer games please. Wii U ticks all the boxes for dream console to me! (except raw processing power, but that's what my PC is for). I prefer to invite friends round for a gaming party, and your games don't let me do that (except the EA sports titles).

First you ruin SSX and NFS with all the online Facebook integration crap and social nagging popups, but you tie it to achievements and trophies too!!!! What if our friends don't play those games or can't afford them?!?!?

At least with single player offline campaign games, I can play whenever I want, however I want and feel more obliged to try and get all trophies/achievements. If the story is good or has good replay value, or even local multiplayer for all I care, I will buy and keep your game.

Dead Space was your one remaining gem, and you had to go ruin it with co-op and online death matches. Screw you EA!! You've just signed a death warrent for people thinking about buying your game, seeing the price tag, seeing the online options and signup requirements, realising their friends won't play the game and forgetting about buying it then.

Yeah, that's what I do.

Too much online multiplayer + no other friends interested = no buy

... even if I was interested in the single player at first.

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xenris
Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 8:33:03 AM

Dance machine you forget EA doesn't make games for longevity, in fact the other big publisher doesn't either. Times have changed where you bought a game and it was patched and updated and the multiplayer evolved over time(counterstrike) for free.

Now publishers sell a "product" to tie consumers over until the next product is released, and then they almost entirely abandoned the previous product. All the call of duty titles had no further patches even though they needed them after the next iteration was released. EA hasn't supported Bad company 2 much since BF3 came out and they are announcing BF4 not even a year after BF3 came out. But when they do support the game it is with overpriced DLC and map packs so your not getting any value what so ever.

This is why I have largely stopped console gaming and moved back to the PC. I actually get some value with my games, and with Steam and particularly Valve games, I know they will be patched and bug fixed for years to come and even get the odd content update here and there all for free.

I still play console games, but only for PS3 exclusives. Anything that is multiplat I get for the PC Darksiders 2 was an exception this year.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 11:39:45 PM
Reply

Give me my single player campaign for $30, go ahead and charge $30 for your multiplayer and we will be square.

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kraygen
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 11:44:41 PM

Sounds great to me. I don't buy my games until they are around $20. If they sold like that I could start buying SP only versions for $10 a pop. I'd have a lot of games to play.

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kraygen
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 @ 11:46:37 PM
Reply

If they want Mp in everything all I can say is, don't take anything out of single player or all you'll do is lose my business. Don't make MP trophies required for a platinum.

I may not be a trophy whore, but it's still annoying that the only thing standing between me and platinum is having so many kills or whatever on MP.

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 1:46:34 AM
Reply

I think the idea of 'sociofying' (new buzz word :D) single player games is utterly ridiculous. Sure, some games could serve from a smartphone or Facebook complement, even leaderboard via PSN/XBL, like the Autolog, but nobody cared about Dead Space multiplayer and I'm not sure that many are using the co-op as a selling point for DS3. I don't see why Sleeping Dogs incorporates all these stupid little social tracking mechanics and the thought of LRFFXIII adding in Facebook interaction sickens me. It's just not necessary and, in many cases, unwanted, so why does it keep happening?

I'm a new school gamer and it irritates me that pure experiences are being squeezed out because publishers want to make a few extra cents out of people that are so focussed on multiplayer. Why can't they just recognise that not every game is going to enjoy the success of Call of Duty and incorporate MP where it makes sense rather than everywhere. Hang 'em high, I say. Get some real gamers in these roles and we might see the changes that we really desire.

And don't give me the Henry Ford and faster horse analogy. I KNOW(!!!) that I don't want games clogging up my Facebook feed or to waste my time in the MP of one game when there are dozens, if not hundreds of other SP experiences out there that are slipping out of my grasp.

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xenris
Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 8:37:11 AM

Its funny too because Call of Duty exploded because it actually really changed the face of what Multiplayer games were. MW1 added experience bars, perks, kill streaks, and all sorts of stuff that were actually revolutionary to some degree.

Yet devs try to copy this multiplayer model and then wonder why everyone just goes back to CoD? Maybe if they would man up and try something new and actually try and innovate they would get that success CoD got. But know instead the just try and copy them and play it safe and the sad thing is it sometimes works enough to justify it, but often they fail and no one cares because its same old same old. Then they blame it on piracy and used games sales, when in reality they just made a crap game that no one wanted or needed.

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wackazoa
Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 10:25:26 AM

Good point you brought up Law.... why the hell is gaming now all about social medja ? I dont wanna go on facebook and brag about my Madden prowess myself, why would I want my game to do it for me ? Im not anti Facebook and Twitter but I sure as hell dont want that crap in my games.

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Highlander
Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 10:34:01 AM

The socifying of games is a pain in the ass. Seriously, let's say you want to play a game, oh let's use Ben's favorite platinum trophy - Hannah Montana. It doesn't matter what game it is, we all have games and genre that we like that maybe our friends don't like. We all play games at ridiculous hours that we'd rather family and some friends don't know about. Why should we have to endure the tyranny of the social network intruding on our solo gaming?

It's already bad enough with PSN. If I am playing a game and do not wish to be disturbed - or wish others to know I'm even online and playing, why can't I mask my online presence? Why do I have the pointless do not disturb thing on PSN that shows I am online and what game I'm in? If I wanted to advertize my presence or the game I'm playing I'd have just signed on in the normal mode.

I *hate* this socifying of games. It's taking away my choice about what I play and when because it enabled my friends and family to ping me whenever they see my account come on line. No offense to anyone, but if I am playing a game I cannot always answer PSN messages or chat requests. I don't want the work friends I have on my PSN list to know if I am still playing at 4am or later. I don't want my family knowing I'm playing at that time. If I play Idolm@ter 2, I may not wish to share that with my family in the UK who have zero understanding or tolerance for that kind of game and belittle it.

So, why would I want to sign up to ever more intrusive always online BS thanks to EA?

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BikerSaint
Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 2:38:14 PM

Highlander,

What you just said alone about being on the PSN is quite true.

Cripes, I always know when you're on & what you're playing, so it must be visa versa on my end too.

But don't worry because I've never been a 12 step addict for IM'ing.

Nor will I ever snitch you out either.

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___________
Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 4:41:25 AM
Reply

yup, and thats why you were voted worst company in america!
congrats, hope it was worth it!

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Amnesiac
Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 8:20:49 AM
Reply

Worst thing to ever happen to the video game industry PERIOD!

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wackazoa
Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 9:02:19 AM
Reply

For FPS I think multi-player is natural... I honestly have never played the campaign for a singe COD game (since World at War) nor for Killzone. I believe I will probably buy Medal of Honor but 99% sure I wont ever play the campaign.

For other games... not so much. Was part of the Uncharted 3 BETA. Didnt much care for it. I own MSG4, GTA4, and RDR and never have I even played the multiplayer for one sec. Now maybe Im backwards but I dont want to play online with these games. I dont turn the game on and think it would be great to play in this world with other people. Just my opinion.

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Highlander
Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 10:25:46 AM
Reply

Well, all I can say is that Frank Gibeau hasn't the faintest idea of how to work for gamers but he's swallowed the always online micro-transactional kool-aid and only thinks of satisfying one group - shareholders. Sadly, they would be better served (IMHO) by focusing on gamers.

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homura
Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 6:39:12 PM
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I miss the analog age.

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Gamer46
Friday, September 07, 2012 @ 1:43:23 AM
Reply

Idiotic thinking like this is why the industry is in a downward spiral. Not every game needs a multiplayer component and I do actually believe that having to force multiplayer into the game hurt ME 3's potential. It's a shame Bioware sold out to EA, with this Gibeau guy and other people who think like him lording over it, its games will never be as good as in the past.

Last edited by Gamer46 on 9/7/2012 1:45:30 AM

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