EA's Moore: Games are becoming "365 days a year" experiences

Peter Moore understands if you're afraid of games heading in a different direction

As we discuss downloadable content here on GamesIndustry, Electronic Arts chief operating officer Peter Moore is making his case for the shift in current development practices. In an interview with Eurogamer, Moore believes some of the backlash against DLC is from those who played games in the PlayStation 2 era and earlier.

"I think people are worried gaming is going in a different direction than they were used to with N64, Sega Mega Drive, PlayStation and PlayStation 2. Everything was dominated by consoles. Pretty much everything was offline. You bought the game. You sat down. And you played the game until you got tired of the game. It was all on the disc," said Moore.

"Games are turning into 365 days a year live operation experiences," Moore said. "And rightly or wrongly we think it's our job to provide reasons every day to go play that game and enjoy that game. Technology is enabling that. Hardware is enabling that. Different game experiences like open world experiences are enabling that, and we're trying to react to what we believe is what gamers want."

Moore contends that even older titles without an online focus still provide quality entertainment.

"Right now I bet you can get FIFA 12 for £20. And you can, without going online, play for years. You don't need to interact with anybody. You don't need to go online. There are still those great experiences," Moore added.

"The good news is you can still do that. There are still plenty of great games, we're making them, everyone else is making them, where you buy it for £40 day one, you can play hundreds of hours and you don't have to go online and play. But the vast majority of people do, and are certainly connected. And then if you go multiplayer, I like to think most games that enhances the experience. But there are some guys who just want things never to change."

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Latest comments (7)

James Prendergast Process Specialist 9 years ago
The vast majority of people go online to play a game that can be played offline?

I'd like to see that data.... I mean, how would you accurately measure it since a game on a console is not tied to one account? Is that across all territories? Last data I saw from Epic a few years back was around 40-50% of gamers went online. Maybe that's significantly changed?

The reasons I don't like online elements are twofold:

1) People are assholes.

2) It takes away control of how and when I play the game I paid for.

You won't solve 1) because it's human nature... and 2) basically breaks gaming as an entertainment medium for me. If every time I go to watch a movie the cinema is closed, despite being advertised as being open... or they stop showing the movie.... then I'm not going to bother watching movies at the cinema any more. At least in that example I have an alternative. Gaming-wise I have none.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Prendergast on 24th August 2012 1:57pm

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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 9 years ago
"...and we're trying to react to what we believe is what gamers want."
Surely the problem isn't giving "what gamers want", it's making all games like that from now on. Just like there's room for F2P and full price games to exist alongside each-other, so too there's room for online/multiplayer-oriented games and single-player offline experiences to exist alongside each-other. As an example, KOTOR 2 just got released on Steam. Does this mean that TOR is redundant? Or does TOR make KOTOR 2's existence redundant? In both cases, the answer is No.
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James Hastings9 years ago
Social integration, free to play and the like are wonderful opportunities opening up the possility of games vastly different from what we are used to. That's great but different does not mean they are better.

These new types of games can't replace the engrossing single player experiences we are used because are simply too different; they don't address the same demand, they don't appeal to the same people. Any attempt to merge them will be doomed to reduce the appeal of the game to either type of gamer; social or traditional. There will be rare exceptions, Demon Souls and so on but that is no reason why other games should or even could go the same way. If you think of any of the biggest selling, single player games of the last few years and, contrary to the views expressed in this article, they would not have been improved by social interactions; they were good because they were polished solo experiences, they were honed to one person sitting down and engaging with them in a focused manner, which brings a completely different set of advantages and disadvantages to what social games offer.

Heavy Rain would not have been improved if my facebook feed had been littered with messages about other people solving the mystery as did. I play games for the narrative, I start game with the aim being to reach a known end, as you would with a film or book. For this reason I loved the Mass Effect series. ME3 had a multiplayer, I loaded it up and it was genuinely fun, but it didn't belong in Mass Effect. It appeals to a different audience of which I am not a part so I never loaded it up again; I'm just not interested in spending my time that way even if it is fun. Social and free to play games may be great for killing an idle minute, or even a few hours if you are really into it but there are plenty of people who, like me are not into it and would never spend time or money on it.

When the industry was younger it had to keep wheeling out new innovations or risk losing it's fickle pre-teen audience. It's not like that anymore. The big games that push themselves on innovation and novelties are great but publishers and devs need to realize that they don't need to do that in every title released. One of my favourate games of the last year was the Darkness 2. It made no outlandish claims to be better than anything which came before it. Many aspects of it's design were impressive but it was no technical revolution. It just took a known genre, the first person shooter, and used it to tell it's own story and tell it well. Frankly, that's what I want to see more of.

Edited 4 times. Last edit by James Hastings on 24th August 2012 10:05pm

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Show all comments (7)
Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 9 years ago
He just want to lay the foundation to release a game for each franchise every year. like collecting comic books that are 60$ a piece. Lower the prices and maybe ill keep buying games. but as they are ive already cut off major franchises from capcom, square enix and bioware. Cause they release games belonging to a same franchise in such short time frames that quality suffers. And when the quality starts to suffer im out. And i dont spend more than 15 minuts in thes F2P or social games. they are only good for a quick fix. Last night I burned like 6 hours into The Last Story for Wii. Console game simply offer the ideal enviroment for that expirience. i would not do this with angry birds or farmville.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 24th August 2012 8:26pm

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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises9 years ago
I read this hoping for a really stupid quote from their CEO to laugh at, but didn't get one. :(

They can price their games and DLC however they want, but they need to understand that any kind of price gouging like Day 1 DLC will provoke a strong reaction from consumers. Most consumers will complain about it. A lot of consumers have a stack of unplayed games, and will just wait 12-18 months to get the Game of the Year edition (including all DLC) for $20 or $30. And according to the Ubisoft CEO 95% of consumers will just pirate the game.
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Thiago Vignoli Creative Director, Fan Studios9 years ago
"...and we're trying to react to what we believe is what gamers want."
Some times gamers don't know what they want.
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Adam Learmonth Studying BSc (Hons) Computer Game Applications Development, University of Abertay Dundee9 years ago
"You bought the game. You sat down. And you played the game until you got tired of the game. It was all on the disc."

Compare: you check whether your device can play the game. You sign up to an account. You agree to a range of DRM policies. You buy the game. You wait for it to download. You sit down. And you play the game until you find a break that requires a patch to be downloaded / the latency of your mediocre internet connection frustrates you too much / you get sick of being called a n00b (at best) by online "friends" / you get tired of the game / the developers decide they cannot or will not maintain the game's servers any farther and effectively remove the game from existence.

Slightly extreme, but it's what has begun to feel like the norm. I dread the transition of video gaming from a product-based medium to service-based, my own enjoyment of a game - sometimes, whether I can even partake at all - increasingly dictated by a variety of external factors.

In short, I'm barely out of my teens and I'm already a conservative fuddy-duddy who thinks gaming reached its zenith in about 1998. Heaven help me.
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