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Gibeau: It's "imperative" for EA to go online

Company intends to continue push started by Warhammer, Battlefield and Star Wars

Electronic Arts must continue its push into online gaming, according to EA Games president Frank Gibeau.

"It is an absolute imperative for the company to go online as fast as possible, and the more projects we can do that have scale and quality the better," he told VG247 at an EA event in San Francisco.

"That's where, frankly, the head and the heart of the company are, is trying to get online in a really powerful way," he continued. "It's a key strategy for the company to drive our online businesses as aggressively as possible. It’s clearly the future, and the future is now."

The company has just unveiled another MMO project, Star Wars: The Old Republic, hot on the heels of the launch of another premium title, Warhammer: Age of Reckoning - while the publisher is also experimenting with other online business models in Battlefield Heroes.

"If you look at Asia, you look at where people are spending their time, where I play games: it's just the place we want to be," said Gibeau. "What's so powerful about the technology is connected gameplay is so cool for our creators.

"The games actually designing and building the games are just starting to scratch the surface in terms of how you can entertain in a massively multiplayer environment, a connected environment," he added.

The Star Wars franchise is well known for its original MMO product, Galaxies, which is published by Sony Online Entertainment.