Every EA Game Will Have "Online Component" in 2011

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Every EA Game Will Have "Online Component" in 2011

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Electronic Arts COO John Schappert says that some form of "online component" will feature in every game the publisher releases in its 2011 fiscal year.

EA is leaning heavily on digital content these days, in both core releases and casual games released through sites like Pogo and Playfish, and it's strategy the company plans to stick with. "In fiscal 2011, every one of EA's releases will have an online component, both downloadable content and online play, and don't forget that we have a full roster of titles coming from our online subscription site, www.pogo.com, from our mobile and iPhone group, and of course, our social gaming team, Playfish," Schappert said during a conference call to analysts following the release of EA's third quarter fiscal results. "That's a lot of exciting content and revenue opportunities coming through all three of our businesses, package goods, digital and distribution."

EA's packaged goods business is "performing," added CEO John Riccitiello, but the digital market is where the company sees serious growth potential. "We have a profitable scaled digital business that recently hit the $0.5 billion threshold. Our digital business is growing at 30 percent and is projected to break through three quarters of $1 billion in fiscal 2011," he said. "We have programs in place that should take this to well beyond $1 billion in the coming two fiscal years."

As Schappert suggested, "online component" can mean many different things: Multiplayer combat in Medal of Honor, a social network for The Sims and regular DLC updates for Dragon Age are all valid examples. Across the board, it's also a way for the company to continue its efforts against pre-owned sales by including free DLC with new purchases, as it did with Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2. On the other hand, making an internet connection mandatory is bound to alienate a significant portion of gamers, a potentially serious downside.

EA lost $82 million in the third quarter of the 2010 fiscal year, a substantial improvement over the $641 million it lost over the same period the previous year but still hardly what anyone would call a great success story. Something clearly needs to be done to turn things around, but is this really it?

Source: Seeking Alpha

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So he's simply talking about DLC I guess. Could be much worse, could be like the thing Ubisoft has propsed. Where you can't play any game untill you are constantly online.

Interesting, although I could have sworn that they had already achieved this ethic and had done for a considerable period.

At least on the console platform.

I don't have a problem with it, but I'm in their target demographic: Internet access, disposable income, relatively generous gaming time.

Just because digital content is there, it doesn't necessarily eat into the experience of individuals not wanting to consume it. Unless you want to get into a really heavy debate about the ethics and direction about DLC, which I can see this article turning into; seeing as how its EA and DLC both prime bandwagon, baseless hate engines.

Looks like I finally have to make an EAonline account now...

An online component that you can still play offline without, cool beans, whatever floats your boat.

An online component that means every EA game will need a persistent internet connection to play, or an at-startup connection to launch the game, they can go shove two lemons and a bell grater up their asses while wearing skin-tight underwear filled with broken glass as they ride on a mechanical bull for twelve hours.

Guess we'll see which it is.

As long as games don't come to rely on online play...then it's cool

I just wish people would resist buying this DLC crap because it is a vicious circle... the more people buy them the more they will make em, market em and sell them and at some point we will probably even see some companies not finishing their games anymore and selling the ending to a game as "DLC" or only having the main story and every other quest being "DLC"... because they can.

I also bought Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2 because they are awesome games but hell freezes over before I buy their "DLC content" xD

In other words, expect yet more EA games to feature obviously butchered-out segments that are available as day 1 DLC.

Incredibly stupid idea.

That's...not a bad idea. I was all set to pour a bucket of 12th century excrement all over it, but I actually kind of like the idea. As long as there's not a continual running fee, and as long as it's not some ridiculously circuitous process to get it...yeah, I'm okay with this.

I'd rather have free DLC than DRM and securom.

But I just hope it doesn't go into "you must be online all the time". Since my connection craps out all the time, it would be very bad for me.

Otherwise like I said, between free DLC and securom, I'll take the free DLC.

Dexter111:
I just wish people would resist buying this DLC crap because it is a vicious circle... the more people buy them the more they will make em, market em and sell them and at some point we will probably even see some companies not finishing their games anymore and selling the ending to a game as "DLC" or only having the main story and every other quest being "DLC"... because they can.

I also bought Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2 because they are awesome games but hell freezes over before I buy their "DLC content" xD

Never been sold on DLC. Expansion packs were the term for extended content in my days, and they came on disc. Those, I pay for. Digital-only is a no-sale to me. Downloaded components to games were FREE up until just these last few years, if they wanted money for their add-ons, they had the courtesy to put it on a disc, and on a shelf.

DLC is shooting EA in the foot. There are growing numbers of people like me, who now, will only buy a game when it's old and abandoned. The final printing before discontinuing the title, where you get all the DLC, expansions (if any) and the core game for less than half the price of the original boxed game. So for thirty bucks, I'll soon buy a copy of Fallout 3 with all the DLC included on the disc. Who's losing here? Me, because I waited? No biggie. But the distributor/developer will only get half the price of the game, and nothing for the DLC. Is it worth it?

Dexter111:
I just wish people would resist buying this DLC crap because it is a vicious circle... the more people buy them the more they will make em, market em and sell them and at some point we will probably even see some companies not finishing their games anymore and selling the ending to a game as "DLC" or only having the main story and every other quest being "DLC"... because they can.

I also bought Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2 because they are awesome games but hell freezes over before I buy their "DLC content" xD

Marry me.

"Buy new" exclusives, however, I can cope with.

Do we really need online for everything?! I was hoping Dead Space 2 would be a brilliant single player only game that I can fully complete....but then there's multiplayer.

Multiplayer in ME3? Oh god...

In other words, there will either be a meh inducing multiplayer or a DL for money option... Why is this even big news? xD

A sign of the times, or a money grubbing evil tactic?

Irridium:
I'd rather have free DLC than DRM and securom.

But I just hope it doesn't go into "you must be online all the time". Since my connection craps out all the time, it would be very bad for me.

Otherwise like I said, between free DLC and securom, I'll take the free DLC.

Except that once their extortion scheme is the norm, that DLC will no longer be free.

From the title, I thought this was going to mean that every game would include an online multiplayer component, which I'm adamantly against. Some games, Dragon Age among them, would be ruined by that prospect. And while I'm not crazy about day one DLC, I don't mind it terribly. Hell, I bought a new wifi adapter for my 360 when DA:O came out for access to the DLC.

This is not good. The sims 3 felt stripped out because of DLC and I can see every game having parts removed so people download it to make it better. This is not an acceptable way to make a game.

Asehujiko:

Irridium:
I'd rather have free DLC than DRM and securom.

But I just hope it doesn't go into "you must be online all the time". Since my connection craps out all the time, it would be very bad for me.

Otherwise like I said, between free DLC and securom, I'll take the free DLC.

Except that once their extortion scheme is the norm, that DLC will no longer be free.

True.

Very true.

EA online has the worst service ever, I can't imagine myself using this.

Instead of ranting on here for half an hour I'll just put the articles that summarize my opinion:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/experienced-points/7134-Experienced-Points-Activation-Bomb
and
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/experienced-points/7058-Experienced-Points-I-Have-Seen-The-Future-And-it-is-Annoying

DLC is also bullshit. They need to stop stuffing online everywhere. Tech is prone to changes, and companies are prone to sinking. EA's been sinking pretty good lately and now it seems they're trying to tie a rope around all of our necks. Also, the rope is tied to an anchor.

Andy Chalk:
On the other hand, making an internet connection mandatory is bound to alienate a significant portion of gamers, a potentially serious downside.

This generally leads to more piracy, which is why they have all the securom, DLC and online horseshit in the first place.

Something clearly needs to be done to turn things around, but is this really it?

Not sure, EA's stock is still going down in value even after ME2's success.

Also, EA (or at least just John Ricc.) thinks that this Day 0 DLC stops piracy, when it in fact promotes it even more.

Example:

I pre-ordered the collectors edition, and bought dragon age. I got Blood Dragon Armor, Inferno Armor, Collector weapons and armor, Zaeed Missani, the Ship Crash Site, and a nice box.

A friend of mine who will not be named, torrented Mass Effect 2, all DLC weapons and armor (and he also didn't buy dragon age), and even the fucking Dr. Pepper DLC code items, along with all pre-order bonuses.

I payed 60 dollars, and got about 1/3rd of what the pirate got.

This practice is fucked up, and I supported it by buying a game new. FML

Retardinator:

Andy Chalk:
On the other hand, making an internet connection mandatory is bound to alienate a significant portion of gamers, a potentially serious downside.

This generally leads to more piracy, which is why they have all the securom, DLC and online horseshit in the first place.

That's because anti-piracy is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Some people pirate. Always will, nothing will stop it. But in general, it's the anti-piracy measures that make the common Joe pirate. And because more people are pirating the game, they come out with stronger anti-piracy tools for their next title. This, of course, pisses off even more common Joes, who in turn also pirate the game. The only reasonable response from the developers is to yet again ramp up the protection. Over and over it will go, until eventually you hit a point where even the fanboys give up on a game. This point is critical mass, after which the whole industry explodes. Companies will be pumping out games so bogged down with DRM and other such horseshit, that it will finally rub out piracy. In fact, it will rub out every form of user the game had. Nobody buys it, nobody plays it, and the company goes under for the failure. Dead by their own hand, so obsessed with stopping an insignificantly small percentage of illegal users, that they alienated the paying customer, and were left with nobody.

The gaming industry, much like humanity, is destined to kill itself.

Irridium:
I'd rather have free DLC than DRM and securom.

But I just hope it doesn't go into "you must be online all the time". Since my connection craps out all the time, it would be very bad for me.

Otherwise like I said, between free DLC and securom, I'll take the free DLC.

Who said anything about FREE? This is Electronic Arts we're talking about here.

If EA keeps providing Bioware goodies, then, by all means, go nuts.

"Shareholders are getting angry at our profits! Quick! Rip off Modern Warfare even more and charge for EVERYTHING!"

DarkSaber:

Irridium:
I'd rather have free DLC than DRM and securom.

But I just hope it doesn't go into "you must be online all the time". Since my connection craps out all the time, it would be very bad for me.

Otherwise like I said, between free DLC and securom, I'll take the free DLC.

Who said anything about FREE? This is Electronic Arts we're talking about here.

Well, the Mass Effect 2 DLC has so far been free.
Most of the day 1 Dragon Age DLC was free.

Basically the only reason its not free is if you bought the games used.

Irridium:

DarkSaber:

Irridium:
I'd rather have free DLC than DRM and securom.

But I just hope it doesn't go into "you must be online all the time". Since my connection craps out all the time, it would be very bad for me.

Otherwise like I said, between free DLC and securom, I'll take the free DLC.

Who said anything about FREE? This is Electronic Arts we're talking about here.

Well, the Mass Effect 2 DLC has so far been free.
Most of the day 1 Dragon Age DLC was free.

Basically the only reason its not free is if you bought the games used.

Big deal. Bring Down the Sky for Mass Effect 1 was free. The next DLC, Pinnacle Station, was not.

DarkSaber:
Big deal. Bring Down the Sky for Mass Effect 1 was free. The next DLC, Pinnacle Station, was not.

As an added bonus, Bring Down the Sky was good. Pinnacle Station was not.

I'm particularly getting sick of there being 18 different versions of the games available at release, between normal and collector's and digital deluxe and what-the-hell-ever editions, all of which have multiple variations depending on where you bought them from, with various combinations downloadable crap just for a single-player game. (It pisses me off to no end when music albums are released that way, too, for that matter, with different bonus tracks at each store.) Really, guys, if I'm not going to be playing online, I don't need to sign up for an account with you and have your update/authentication tool trying its hardest to stay running in my taskbar all the time (which I can pop up into a handy little disaster of clusterfuckery that lets me interact with your store/my account in a way that's an embarrassment next to something like Steam).

If anyone needs me, I'll be over here waiting a year or two for complete versions of DA:O and ME2 to come out with the full games included in one package so I don't have to deal with all that crap and can get it for a third the price.

DarkSaber:

Irridium:

DarkSaber:

Irridium:
I'd rather have free DLC than DRM and securom.

But I just hope it doesn't go into "you must be online all the time". Since my connection craps out all the time, it would be very bad for me.

Otherwise like I said, between free DLC and securom, I'll take the free DLC.

Who said anything about FREE? This is Electronic Arts we're talking about here.

Well, the Mass Effect 2 DLC has so far been free.
Most of the day 1 Dragon Age DLC was free.

Basically the only reason its not free is if you bought the games used.

Big deal. Bring Down the Sky for Mass Effect 1 was free. The next DLC, Pinnacle Station, was not.

Bring Down the Sky was only free for PC users. I had to pay money for it.

Maybe if they made good business choices maybe their games will make money.

If EA plans to make MMOs exclusively in 2011, okay, I have no problem with these "online components". As a stalwart matter of principle, though, not a one of my single-player games has been or will be allowed access to the internet, ever. If I have to start paying for cracks, I will. Forcing a single-player game to be played online defeats its purpose. And if a game has too much content allocated to DLC-only availability, I simply won't buy the title.

I also hate digital distribution. I'm a physical materials collector. Games offered only as downloads might as well be platform-specific for some arcane console I'll never own.

Irridium:

DarkSaber:

Irridium:

DarkSaber:

Irridium:
I'd rather have free DLC than DRM and securom.

But I just hope it doesn't go into "you must be online all the time". Since my connection craps out all the time, it would be very bad for me.

Otherwise like I said, between free DLC and securom, I'll take the free DLC.

Who said anything about FREE? This is Electronic Arts we're talking about here.

Well, the Mass Effect 2 DLC has so far been free.
Most of the day 1 Dragon Age DLC was free.

Basically the only reason its not free is if you bought the games used.

Big deal. Bring Down the Sky for Mass Effect 1 was free. The next DLC, Pinnacle Station, was not.

Bring Down the Sky was only free for PC users. I had to pay money for it.

That was due to Microsoft.

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