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EA plans for longer tails, marketing cycles

Andrew Wilson says live services have led to "much stronger ROI on every dollar spent," company will be increasing cross-promotion of EA franchises

Electronic Arts' stock price has doubled in the last two years, thanks in large part to the success of its commitment to the games-as-a-service approach. According to a Seeking Alpha transcript of the company's post-earnings conference call yesterday, CEO Andrew Wilson acknowledged how that success has changed EA's approach to business, and said the company is evolving its marketing to follow suit in a number of ways.

First, Wilson said the "core purchase" of original games will extend over a longer time frame than before. He expects that to be especially true of titles with effective multiplayer dynamics, giving Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 as examples. And just as those games will have longer shelf lives, so too will the EA marketing cycle lengthen to support them.

Secondly, Wilson took a page from the world of mobile gaming, saying, "we are using our network and investing more deeply in our network to drive cross-play of franchises within our network. And you should expect to see us continue do that using the games that we already have in the marketplace to help introduce new players to new games that we know they'll love based on their play patterns."

Finally, Wilson touted the live services component of EA's games as an effective marketing technique in and of themselves.

"Every time we drive a new event around a particular property as part of a live service, that acts as a beat that drives conversation in social channels about the games that we play," Wilson said. "So as we think about an elongated initial marketing cycle, as we think about the power of our network and the amount of players that we have in it playing every day and we think about the live services that we have wrapped, we are really transforming how we market our games and believe we're getting much, much stronger ROI on every dollar spent."

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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