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Jenson outlines EA's international ambitions

Electronic Arts plans to aggressively pursue market leadership in new markets such as China and India, according to comments made by CFO Warren Jenson at a Morgan Stanley analyst conference last week in the United States.

Electronic Arts plans to aggressively pursue market leadership in new markets such as China and India, according to comments made by CFO Warren Jenson at a Morgan Stanley analyst conference last week in the United States.

In his opening comments to the Morgan Stanley Software, Services, Internet and Networking Conference last week, Jenson talked up EA's global reach, pointing out that over 50 per cent of the company's business comes from outside the USA.

"What technology is making possible online is the opening of new markets like China, where piracy has just been too tough to overcome," he told the conference. "Ultimately, looking out a little bit further, three to five years... youâll also see huge markets like India open up to gaming."

Questioned further on these comments by an analyst in the audience, Jenson confirmed that EA hopes to be the market leader in both of those key new territories. "Iâd say broadly, when we look at China in particular and Asia overall, there will be an 'EA of China' and an 'EA of India', and we want that to be us," he said.

"Strategically, weâve announced that we will be building a studio in China. Weâre just formally deciding where that location or locations will be, and the purpose of that studio is really to develop local content for that market," he explained.

"One thing that holds true in the entertainment world, as we used to say in television, is that all TV is local. And in effect all games are local too. So our first step will be to build localized content for that market. And ultimately we want to be as strong in that part of the world as we [are] in this part of the world."

Jenson went on to point out that at the recent ChinaJoy expo, which focuses on the interactive entertainment industry, four out of the five "most anticipated titles" were EA games. "So people know us, and they know our brand name," he concluded. "Now what we have to do is figure out a way to monetise that."

"What the players that are there today have done is theyâve made pay-for-play a reality and theyâve also made micro-transactions a reality in online," he told the conference, "thereby avoiding a lot of the pitfalls that some of the previous formats have established...Youâll see technology on the online front, subscription front, [and] micro-transactions front really probably being paved in Asia and then sort of exported back into the West."

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Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.