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EA investing in building "games as a platform"

But CEO Andrew Wilson says there will still be room for standalone releases like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

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Electronic Arts says its future lies in developing "games as a platform," building on the success it has seen with live service models for titles such as FIFA, The Sims and Apex Legends.

During an earnings call following its most recent financial results, CEO Andrew Wilson was asked by an investor about the impact macroeconomic uncertainty has on consumer spending.

Wilson said that some consumers rely more on familiar brands during such times, which puts EA in good stead, but that this current phase will pass and there will be opportunities to focus on new IP.

"But what we don't think that will outweigh is this movement to these broader social ecosystems that are games, games as platforms," he said, according to a transcript by Seeking Alpha. "What we are seeing is the evolution of the definition of a game."

He continued: "As we think about building [EA Sports] FC for the future, The Sims, Battlefield, Apex, Skate and other properties in our portfolio, we really think about that in the context of building games as a platform or content as a platform to drive these long-term businesses across [our pillars of] play, watch, create, connect.

"We think this will be longer-lasting than the present kind of macroeconomic climate. And certainly, that's where we're investing meaningful parts of our time, money and resources over the coming years."

Wilson added that this does not "take away from the opportunity" to launch more standalone titles like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. He said that a "great portion of our investment" will go into games that cater to massive online communities, but EA will "follow up with a more focused, deliberate investment against telling blockbuster interactive stories."

Later in the call, Wilson said that the publisher will be giving its development teams longer lead times on new titles, not just for quality but also to account for building experiences designed to attract large audiences for a decade or more.

"It's really not just about the complexity of games," he said. "It's really about the changing nature of what it is that we're building, but more importantly, the changing nature of how we derive value from that development over the long term.

"So where we once built games in one year or two years and then monetize them over five weeks or five months, now games as a platform are taking longer, but the benefits are exponentially greater."

Elsewhere in the call, the CEO was asked about the impact of industry consolidation and whether he expects there to be more, to which he replied: "Almost certainly at some level."

He also used the opportunity to address the recent block against Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard, saying that while he doesn't know what will happen to the transaction, whether or not the deal goes through is "not really material to us broadly."

"I think we're the No.1 publisher on their platform," he said. "We think we have the scale…, our network, our IP and our talent to continue to navigate the future and lead the future of entertainment and compete in a marketplace regardless of whether that deal goes through or not."

He added: "I would love for us to have the scale to be a meaningful consolidator in that space. I think that we have tremendous assets with respect to the future of entertainment. But as it stands today, I think that we're indifferent as to whether that goes through or not. We feel like we have an incredible strategy. We feel like we have an incredible opportunity. And whether it goes through or not, we will continue to be the No.1 publisher on the Microsoft platform."

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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