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EA nearing deal to stream games via Comcast - report

EA nearing deal to stream games via Comcast - report

Sat 03 May 2014 12:58am GMT / 8:58pm EDT / 5:58pm PDT
BusinessOnline

A Reuters report indicates that Comcast and EA have been testing the service for the past two years

In a move that would significantly expand EA's potential customer base, the publisher is reportedly close to finalizing a deal with telecom giant Comcast. EA would stream its video games on X1, Comcast's operating system featuring internet applications, viewing recommendations and voice control.

Not only would the deal give EA access to Comcast's 22 million users, but it also would represent a rather big jump into video games for the cable firm. "If the agreement goes through, it would mark the boldest step yet by a cable company to muscle into the territory of leading video-game console manufacturers such as Sony Corp and Microsoft Corp," Reuters noted in its report.

EA and Comcast have been testing out the service, and the aim is to make purchasing video games as easy as ordering a movie on pay-per-view. If the Comcast merger with Time Warner Cable also goes through, it could make this EA partnership even more important.

While the AAA console industry is off to a good start with the Xbox One and PS4, there are more and more avenues for publishers to take with their portfolios. It makes perfect sense for EA to consider Comcast, Amazon, Apple or anything else. Likewise, Comcast and other cable firms are facing increasing pressure from internet-connected devices like consoles, Apple TV, Fire TV and more. Leveraging EA's games is a step in the right direction for Comcast.

6 Comments

Morville O'Driscoll
Games Blogger & Journalist

1,530 1,330 0.9
Big news... If you're in the States. And if you're Comcast.

For everyone else? Not so much, at this point-in-time. It's too "regional" for it to greatly affect the gaming world, or the cable TV world, I would say, since Comcast has no cable/digital properties outside the US. They're also largely known in a negative manner both inside and outside of the States, due to Net Neutrality cases, which could tarnish EA's brand.

On the whole, it reminds me of Microsoft's focus on TV and Cable for the XOne - pointless to anyone not in the Lower 48.

Posted:4 months ago

#1

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,174 1,124 0.5
Ugh. I live here and Comcast is awful. Granted, the rubes who want this will pay a preimum on top of the shit price they charge for cable now (and it's a TOTAL rip-off). I'm not looking forward to seeing an additional $50 (or more) tacked on for this... unless it doesn't require laying out $500 for a new console. They already have games running on some On Demand channels here, but they're mostly basic match-3 stuff or simple games you can play with the crappy remote you get with that cable box.

Eh, we'll see... but I don't expect this to be cheap at all or get people who don't have a Xbox One to buy one because of other hassles they can't deal with (not everyone who's a Comcast customer uses broadbaaaaaaand, for example). That and they NEED a rate decrease because they're SO overpriced in major markets that it's almost amusing when I hear about friends downgrading service just to basics because they end up getting content elsewhere cheaper. Or free (which I wish they'd not do, but you know how that finger-waggling lecture lite usually ends)...

Posted:4 months ago

#2

David Lee
Chief Concepticator

17 6 0.4
To add to what Morville is saying, this streaming agreement actually sounds like a perfect match for a net neutrality violating special bandwidth for premium content type of deal. I'm interested to see if that hunch turns out to be correct.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by David Lee on 5th May 2014 5:05pm

Posted:4 months ago

#3

William Usher
Assistant Editor

41 29 0.7
To add to what Morville is saying, this streaming agreement actually sounds like a perfect match for a net neutrality violating special bandwidth for premium content type of deal.
That's the first thing that popped into my mind.

Comcast is already charging extra for their own basic cable service (the monthly service fee and basic cable channels are paid for separately). I really don't see why it would be beyond them to tack on fees for streaming as well.

Posted:4 months ago

#4

DJay
Studying Web Design

2 1 0.5
I can tell you that I really don't see this being any better than the Sega Channel back in the day. The problem is that all the people that would purchase EA games already have them. Unless EA and Comcast are going to roll out some way for people to be able to roll what they currently have on Origin over, I don't see this working. ALSO, there is NO way you can stream something like Battlefield 4 on Comcast and no get completed destroyed due to latency in just the game itself when it starts to get really busy in the game. Remember they can have up to 64 people running around on a those maps plus things like buildings and the such falling all at the same time.

Posted:4 months ago

#5

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,174 1,124 0.5
If I'm not mistaken, the cable companies (like many others) "help" write assorted legislation here or at least lobby for stuff to go their way at the expense of the consumer (the dumber ones out there who pay and stay silent), so of course it'll be a "fee for all" for anything they deem can make them suck a wallet even drier. People with bitch and moan, but pay up big because it keeps the kids quiet and happy as well as off the streets or something. Blech - this monopolizing needs an enema, I say...

Posted:4 months ago

#6

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