EA's Moore: Microsoft And Sony Have Been Very Aggressive With EA

EA's Moore: Microsoft And Sony Have Been Very Aggressive With EA

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Peter Moore's looking forward to the next console generation, but he still needs to know when it's due.

Peter Moore, in a talk with Games Industry, said that both big console makers had "been very aggressive with us," courting EA for games, but added that it was because "we're a very powerful publisher, obviously, that has the ability to deliver great content ... and they want to make sure they get that." It's getting closer and closer to November, when we finally see how the Xbox One and PS4 will fare out in the wild, and EA's keen to be on the winning team. But it doesn't want to be seen to be favoring one over the other either, at least not now, so Moore was quick to say that - while at the moment EA's touting its Xbox One titles - the PS4 partnership opportunities were things that "maybe we should be talking more about." Moore certainly wasn't about to say that one console's sales were going to be better than another's; he chose the politic path, and said he saw a lot of talk from gamers who were going to get both.

The problem isn't who will win - if there's a winner at all - in the sales wars, at least not from Moore's perspective. The problem is when this will all happen. Even EA doesn't quite know - though the situation's clearer than it was - and that's a problem when you're dealing with the logistics of delivering umpteen millions of boxes. "Dates, countries, we need quantities," says Moore. "A company like ourselves we need to figure out where the numbers are going." It doesn't help that both consoles will be launching simultaneously, or as near to it as makes no difference. That splits resources, from EA's perspective, as everything's hitting shelves at the same time; and while all this is going on it still has to consider current generation releases. "So things that gamers don't have to worry about but we have to worry about is getting the flow of manufacturing right, getting the quantities right, making sure everything is at retail," Moore points out. "Microsoft needs to cough up the date."

Now EA just needs to deliver the games. It can see the finish line, and it's running as fast as it can. It might be panic mode, it might be high stress time, but EA's used to that. "Yeah, it's head down and go time now," says Moore. "We have to deliver."

Source: GI.biz

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Could someone please shut Moore up? Every single thing he says just makes EA look worse and as much as I hate EA, they just really don't need help in looking bad. Unless of course this is some sort of corporate version of honesty in which they are telling us exactly who they are, in which case I miss when they at least tried to make us think they weren't evil/douche-bags.

And of course what Moore actually means by this is that neither big console maker has been very aggressive with them, that they're not a very powerful publisher, obviously, that does not have the ability to deliver great content, and they don't want to make sure they get that."

At least, if we take his previous statements about how everything will have an online component means not everything will have an online component to be indicative of how he talks.

Moore gettin' swaggy I see.

I do think the next generation is going to be a rough one for big publishers, at least initially. Shooters and other AAA games sell in high amounts now because there are 140 million PS3s and 360s out there in the wild to sell to. Resetting everything to zero is going to massively cut down the size of the userbase that you can sell your 'next gen super duper brosplosion' games to.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Moore gettin' swaggy I see.

I do think the next generation is going to be a rough one for bug publishers, at least initially. Shooters and other AAA games sell in high amounts now because there are 140 million PS3s and 360s out there in the wild to sell to. Resetting everything to zero is going to massively cut down the size of the userbase that you can sell your 'next gen super duper brosplosion' games to.

It's not like it resets to zero though - people aren't going to be destroying the old consoles because a new one comes out. It'll be a few years before cross-platform titles stop releasing on the PS3 and 360, like with the PS2, they'll just be released as "next gen super duper brosplosion (but not quite as pretty)" titles.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Moore gettin' swaggy I see.

I do think the next generation is going to be a rough one for bug publishers, at least initially. Shooters and other AAA games sell in high amounts now because there are 140 million PS3s and 360s out there in the wild to sell to. Resetting everything to zero is going to massively cut down the size of the userbase that you can sell your 'next gen super duper brosplosion' games to.

Yeah, it's going to be an interesting generation business wise to say the least. I don't doubt that, as gamers, we'll be seeing a parade of great titles on every platform but on the back end there's going to have to be a lot of hand wringing and reorganization. From the start of the generation pick up to the continued skewing of development costs on big titles to the rise of the indie developer, there's a lot that's going to shake out over the next 5 or 6 years. As much as people like to scoff at things like the new Killer Instincts janky business model, I'd imagine we're going to be seeing more stuff like that as opposed to less.

SonicWaffle:

It's not like it resets to zero though - people aren't going to be destroying the old consoles because a new one comes out. It'll be a few years before cross-platform titles stop releasing on the PS3 and 360, like with the PS2, they'll just be released as "next gen super duper brosplosion (but not quite as pretty)" titles.

The problem is, that then has the negative impact of reducing demand for the next gen systems. The whole idea of a next gen console is that you get to play games that you couldn't have before. If all those big AAA games are also coming out on your older current gen system, then what real incentive is there to upgrade? Graphics are nice, sure, but not to the extent that most consumers would be willing to pay $400 just for a visual upgrade. If that were the case, they'd all be PC gamers.

The start of this generation was different, as developers were coming off the back off sixth-gen, where it was still possible to develop mainstream AAA games for comparatively small budgets. Publishers had the balls to take a few more risks on exclusives when current gen first rolled around, as their experience of development was that it was still financially somewhat manageable. You could sell a million on a AAA title, and still see that as a success.

Now, we're at the point where games need to sell 3-5 million+ in order to keep being viable, and that's not going to go down as games get more graphically intensive. It's a pretty unique situation publishers have built up for themselves. Consumer demand for better graphics is pushing them towards next gen hardware, yet the need to turn a profit and sell millions of game means there's an internal demand to keep releasing games on 360 and PS3 where the largest consumer base is. But as long as you're still releasing on 360 and PS3, you're actively giving people reasons not to upgrade.

Like I said, it'll be an interesting one. I very much doubt EA, after all their troubles, has the funds to weather a poor next-gen launch if their games don't take off. Their reaction would be very interesting.

StriderShinryu:

Yeah, it's going to be an interesting generation business wise to say the least. I don't doubt that, as gamers, we'll be seeing a parade of great titles on every platform but one the back end there's going to have to be a lot of hand wringing and reorganization. From the start of the generation pick up to the continued skewing of development costs on big titles to the rise of the indie developer, there's a lot that's going to shake out over the next 5 or 6 years. As much as people like to scoff at things like the new Killer Instincts janky business model, I'd imagine we're going to be seeing more stuff like that as opposed to less.

Agreed on the Killer Instinct thing. Next gen, we're really going to see microtransactions take a massive step into games, especially with all the quasi-MMO, always online games we're seeing. Traditional game publishing simply doesn't make money any more, not unless you're Activision or Nintendo. Publishers will be spending huge amounts of moey developing next-gen games, and if they think carving those games up for DLC and microtransactions will get them a better ROI, then that's what they'll do, regardless of how much you and I may hate it.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

SonicWaffle:

[quote="StriderShinryu" post="7.826855.20086413"]
Yeah, it's going to be an interesting generation business wise to say the least. I don't doubt that, as gamers, we'll be seeing a parade of great titles on every platform but one the back end there's going to have to be a lot of hand wringing and reorganization. From the start of the generation pick up to the continued skewing of development costs on big titles to the rise of the indie developer, there's a lot that's going to shake out over the next 5 or 6 years. As much as people like to scoff at things like the new Killer Instincts janky business model, I'd imagine we're going to be seeing more stuff like that as opposed to less.

Agreed on the Killer Instinct thing. Next gen, we're really going to see microtransactions take a massive step into games, especially with all the quasi-MMO, always online games we're seeing. Traditional game publishing simply doesn't make money any more, not unless you're Activision or Nintendo. Publishers will be spending huge amounts of moey developing next-gen games, and if they think carving those games up for DLC and microtransactions will get them a better ROI, then that's what they'll do, regardless of how much you and I may hate it.

The reality of it is that some of the new business models are going to actually end up being good for gamers. Even the Killer Instinct thing, when you take a step back and look at it objectively, means that you can get a full fighting game (with an admittedly small roster) for $20. That's pretty good, and if the game is still balanced in gameplay and the micro transactions help actually fund development in a more tangible way than boxed sales, everyone wins.

It's just the traditional gamer hypocrisy where there's a demand for change and then a flood of complaints when that change arrives, especially when it logically arrives in a slightly slow and stuttering fashion.

snekadid:
Could someone please shut Moore up? Every single thing he says just makes EA look worse and as much as I hate EA, they just really don't need help in looking bad. Unless of course this is some sort of corporate version of honesty in which they are telling us exactly who they are, in which case I miss when they at least tried to make us think they weren't evil/douche-bags.

I'm fine with people ranting about EA, but this statement seems pretty innocuous.

Moore should be less concerned with who will win this generation's console war and more who will survive. And if EA continues to make bad business decisions, they will be the ones occupying the shallow grave along other publishers and studios they drove into the ground.

Zachary Amaranth:

snekadid:
Could someone please shut Moore up? Every single thing he says just makes EA look worse and as much as I hate EA, they just really don't need help in looking bad. Unless of course this is some sort of corporate version of honesty in which they are telling us exactly who they are, in which case I miss when they at least tried to make us think they weren't evil/douche-bags.

I'm fine with people ranting about EA, but this statement seems pretty innocuous.

Yeah, I hate EA as much as the next guy, but I had to re-read this article just to see if there was some evil subtext that I was missing or something. I'm still not seeing it though.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Moore gettin' swaggy I see.

I do think the next generation is going to be a rough one for bug publishers, at least initially. Shooters and other AAA games sell in high amounts now because there are 140 million PS3s and 360s out there in the wild to sell to. Resetting everything to zero is going to massively cut down the size of the userbase that you can sell your 'next gen super duper brosplosion' games to.

Expect the current gen to run very much like the PS2 did. Several years into the next cycle PS3/360 games will still be released. What you say would be much more true if existing consoles were to cease to exist. It will still be harder for publishers, as indie publishing is getting very strong, but they'll still have a sizable advantage for now. I mean, look at the release platforms for AssCreed 4: there's 6 of them, and they even managed put better effects (like actual wave/water/wind simulation) into the next gen versions without making the current gen stuff look like poop. Another 5 years and that may be a different story though.

I didn't read this as "Dear God someone please buy our games," but instead a more positive "No matter how much the consoles fight each other bro-dudes are still going to give us billions of dollars."

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
The problem is, that then has the negative impact of reducing demand for the next gen systems.

Sure, that could be a problem - for Microsoft and Sony. It's not such a big problem for EA. For publishers, its annoying to have to release on more platforms, but at the end of the day they're not nearly as concerned about whether people buy it on cur-gen or last-gen, but rather whether people buy it at all. The publisher has little incentive to shoot their sales in the foot just to encourage customers to give money to console makers.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Graphics are nice, sure, but not to the extent that most consumers would be willing to pay $400 just for a visual upgrade. ... Consumer demand for better graphics is pushing them towards next gen hardware...

So, consumer demand for better graphics is pushing them to release on new platforms which consumers aren't willing to pay for the graphical upgrade for? Your argument contradicts itself. Individual consumers will be able to decide whether they care enough to upgrade for purely graphical reasons, and that's a good thing.

Translation: I so popular and awesome that I got to rush even harder to ruin gaming.

EA already chokes their developer brood with time constraints, now they say they will do it even harder? I wish Bioware would jump ship to Bethesda. They know you need to take time to make a great game. They also make games that fill that gap fairly well. (TES if you are not following).

Pyrian:
Sure, that could be a problem - for Microsoft and Sony. It's not such a big problem for EA. For publishers, its annoying to have to release on more platforms, but at the end of the day they're not nearly as concerned about whether people buy it on cur-gen or last-gen, but rather whether people buy it at all. The publisher has little incentive to shoot their sales in the foot just to encourage customers to give money to console makers.

It is a problem given that sales have been declining YoY for a while now, and something needs to be done to stimulate the gaming market. And it's a problem given that slow sales for next gen would have a very negative impact on both Sony and Microsoft, which would have a knock-on effect with other publishers.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Graphics are nice, sure, but not to the extent that most consumers would be willing to pay $400 just for a visual upgrade. ... Consumer demand for better graphics is pushing them towards next gen hardware...

So, consumer demand for better graphics is pushing them to release on new platforms which consumers aren't willing to pay for the graphical upgrade for? Your argument contradicts itself. Individual consumers will be able to decide whether they care enough to upgrade for purely graphical reasons, and that's a good thing.

I should have phrased that better. Allow me to explain.

To the average consumer, paying more for more graphically powerful hardware has never been that attractive a proposition. When it comes to hardware, consumers go with what is cheaper, and what has the most games (See PS1, PS2, Wii, 3DS, etc).

On the software side, however, things are a bit weird. This generation, we saw publishers really step up trying to market games based on pretty visuals. The entire AAA industry is essentially now a showcase for just how many more impressive setpieces and graphical flourishes designed to get fanboys excited. Look at the hype/outrage at the original Killzone 2 trailer, the marketing around Crysis, EA trying to market Frostbite 2's virtues in every game they put out... when it comes to marketing AAA games to 'core' games, publishers have played the game of trying to win on presentation. Whoever puts out the game with the snazzier looking graphics gets the most hype. The problem is that this then creates the expectation among 'core' gamers that this trend will continue in line with next gen tech. Just look at the outrage that happened when IGN put out the possibility that Battlefield 4 may not be running in 1080p on PS4, or the derision when COD Ghosts didn't look particularly next-gen at it's reveal.

It's not just publishers. Sites like Digital Foundry also fan the flames, and keep gamers focused on trying to measure a game's worth by its graphics.

Essentially, publishers have created a disconnect by pushing so heavily on graphical development. The consumers who do care about graphics are now constantly demanding prettier visuals and bigger setpieces, which is driving up development costs. The consumers who don't care about graphics will just go with whatever hardware is cheapest or offers the best value. In the situation that most games are released on both next gen and current games, that means they'll be likely to refrain from buying a new console for quite some time.

You can't fund next-gen games on Digital Foundry readers alone. But that is the problem publishers run the risk of. By simply putting out prettier versions of current gen games for next gen, the only people likely to buy them are the vocal minority who care about that. Regular consumers will just get the current gen version. Which means Sony and Microsoft lose a shitload of money, and that has negative repurcussions around the entire industry.

So what hes basically confirming is the consoles are forcing the games to be released unfinished and hurried because they are being protective of release dates? ... Talk about being caught in cross fire.

we're a very powerful publisher, obviously, that has the ability to deliver great content

That last part always cracks me up. But I guess tomorrow he will say I'm misinterpreting and he meant the opposite.

Plus if EA are 'very powerful' surely they could use that power, combined with their years of experience to ship lots of games during a short period. Or, I don't know, do some kind of digital distribution. But you'd need some kind of international data network to do that which is far beyond our current technology.

sirjeffofshort:

Yeah, I hate EA as much as the next guy, but I had to re-read this article just to see if there was some evil subtext that I was missing or something. I'm still not seeing it though.

Yeah, I re-read it before I posted, too. I mean, I can see why some people might not like the boasting, but nothing he said was evil....

sirjeffofshort:

Zachary Amaranth:

snekadid:
Could someone please shut Moore up? Every single thing he says just makes EA look worse and as much as I hate EA, they just really don't need help in looking bad. Unless of course this is some sort of corporate version of honesty in which they are telling us exactly who they are, in which case I miss when they at least tried to make us think they weren't evil/douche-bags.

I'm fine with people ranting about EA, but this statement seems pretty innocuous.

Yeah, I hate EA as much as the next guy, but I had to re-read this article just to see if there was some evil subtext that I was missing or something. I'm still not seeing it though.

I think he's publicly asking Microsoft to get their heads out of their asses and actually tell developers when the console will be launched so EA can plan to have games released on the same date (because if they turned out to be releasing them too early and you have wasted time that could have been used for development and testing, too late and people will buy other launch titles instead of yours, time it right and you'll catch the crowd that buy the console and think "Hey, I need some games for this, - and then the EA can score a lot of easy sales because there will be very little competition, like Halo did with the original Xbox")

He also uses Microsoft (and Sony's) pressure on EA against the companies, basically saying "look at all the hassle you gave us looking for exclusives, now we need something from you, so give us the release date."

There's some other stuff in there about how great EA are because Sony and Microsoft are fawning after them, but I think the main message is just Moore pleading to know the release date because a lot of money depends on EA getting it right.

you know i can see his point. they need to move the games in phyiscal discs because gamers cry when they cant hold a plastic box and a disc that they will use once and throw to the corner, so they need to know when and where, and since xbox seems to be still ahving problem delivering consoles to other coutnries than USA or even say when its going to be released the cnocern is a real logistic problem.

 

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