EA boss proudly refuses to publish single-player only games

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Destructoid[/url]]Electronic Arts' games label boss Frank Gibeau has revealed that he's not let any solely single-player games pass through his gates, ensuring that absolutely every single title the company publishes has an online component.

"We are very proud of the way EA evolved with consumers," stated the executive. "I have not green lit one game to be developed as a singleplayer experience. Today, all of our games include online applications and digital services that make them live 24/7/365.

"One of our biggest growth opportunities is Play4Free titles that allow customers to play at no cost and make purchases via microtransactions. We see this as a huge opportunity, and one that’s powered by our hybrid cloud model."

http://www.destructoid.com/ea-boss-p...

I want to berate you for a misleading title but, damnit Quintin, you're so cute. I mean, tthe title's pretty accurate. I don't mind EA or this policy. I can get singleplayer games from other developers/publishers. Now that I know that's their policy I can apply that to all future titles and figure out if their games are for me. Considering I don't care about multiplayer aspects EA has probably slowly lost most of my business. As a fan of single player games I can not disagree more.

Wait, f*ck. Means Dragon Age 3 will have a multiplayer component. f*ck. I need a new Bioware to rise from the ashes. (CD Projeckt seems to be the best candidate)

K.

I have a "so what?" I want him to answer.

Cause I think Mass Effect might be one of those games we talk about where scrapping deathmatch would have benefitted the story dept.

Also, will the new Sim City have some online mode too?

Frank Gibeau wrote:
...powered by our hybrid cloud model.

I enjoy (and vomit a little) at the use of the phrase 'hybrid cloud model' as though that actually means anything.

I'm not really sure what he's proud of here.

Saying, "I have not green lit one game to be developed as a singleplayer experience." says - to me at least - "I don't want to innovate or give players any sort of choice or variety when it comes to EA games." I think this shows an appalling lack of creativity and forward-thinking.

Microtransactions are great for nickel and diming players to death for content (content which should probably have just been in the game to begin with), but I wouldn't be proud of that either.

I feel like I'm missing something here.

Well, he mentions how he feels that consumers interests have changed and that consumers no longer want singleplayer games. His evidence for this is the amount of money that microtransactions and other online features generate. Which, honestly, isn't a bad metric for a company to measure itself by. He's proud that they adjusted their game production to account for this rather than not take advantage of it.

one that’s powered by our hybrid cloud model.

What exactly is a "hybrid cloud model"?

And in the case of Bioware/Dragon Age/Mass Effect, isn't DLC "online components". It doesn't have to mean DA3 will have death match.

KingGorilla wrote:
Also, will the new Sim City have some online mode too?

Oh, I guess you missed that update.

http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/1...

Isn't this old news? I remember one of the EA execs saying a few years back he went around bothering developers to think of ways to shoehorn online into all their games if it didn't have it.

Vector wrote:
Well, he mentions how he feels that consumers interests have changed and that consumers no longer want singleplayer games. His evidence for this is the amount of money that microtransactions and other online features generate. Which, honestly, isn't a bad metric for a company to measure itself by. He's proud that they adjusted their game production to account for this rather than not take advantage of it.

I agree about the metric thing, now that you've said it, that makes a lot of sense from a making money point of view - but I still think not greenlighting single player games seems like a bad idea, it feels like they're throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Of course, I'm not exactly unbiased as I generally prefer single player games.

fangblackbone wrote:
one that’s powered by our hybrid cloud model.

What exactly is a "hybrid cloud model"?

It's technological fancy talk for sounding technologically fancy. That's my take on it anyway.

Frank Gibeau wrote:
I have not green lit one game to be developed as a singleplayer experience.

If he thinks that's something to be proud of, that's cool I guess. And if his numbers support it even better, I suppose.

... except it totally alienates me, who just wants to sit in my apartment and enjoy a good story. I guess I should just read a book or something. Not that it really affects me in any way, I haven't bought an EA title in years. Their games simply don't appeal to me for the same reason that Mr. Gibeau greenlights those same games.

Stock price in November 2011= $25
Stock price today = $13.

The market tends to look poorly on stocks that lose half their value. If I was him I'd be looking for any game he can sell at a profit, let alone worrying about whether it has an online component.

A hybrid cloud is where some resources are managed by a cloud provider and some are managed internally. E-mail is a good example of an app that's moving towards hybrid cloud implementation in a lot of enterprises.

I fail to see how the term is applicable in any way to a video game. I think the guy has been reading CIO magazine (the Vogue of Information Technology) a little too much.

Superbeard wrote:
Frank Gibeau wrote:
I have not green lit one game to be developed as a singleplayer experience.
If he thinks that's something to be proud of, that's cool I guess. And if his numbers support it even better, I suppose.

... except it totally alienates me, who just wants to sit in my apartment and enjoy a good story. I guess I should just read a book or something. Not that it really affects me in any way, I haven't bought an EA title in years. Their games simply don't appeal to me for the same reason that Mr. Gibeau greenlights those same games.


I think this is the heart of it for me. EA are in business for EA, not for me, and I guess if any of their games happens to catch my eye then that's a happy accident rather than something they intend to do now, and from my perspective that occurrence is becoming rarer. I don't know how to interpret that in any other way than that I'm not their target audience.

Updated the headline, it was misleading a bit.

I'm curious about what he means when he says he hasn't greenlit one title. He's been president of EA's games division since 2007. Since then, EA has published, among other things:

  • All three Mass Effect games
  • Both Crysis games
  • The Army of Two games
  • The Dead Space series
  • Mirror's Edge
  • Both Dragon Age games
  • Dante's Inferno

Those are just the games that jumped out to me as having strong single-player components. Yes, some of them have competitive or cooperative multiplayer, and all of them have DLC, but it's not like EA has stopped publishing strong single-player experiences under Gibeau's tenure. They've just stopped publishing single-player only experiences.

My guess is that when he brags that all of their games are connected "24/7/365" that he's talking about things like DLC, multiplayer, leaderboards, etc., etc. Hell, even their Wii games have been heavily plugged-in with DLC and other online components. In that sense, EA isn't any different than most any other major publisher these days, even the darling ones that get free passes.

But Certis, Vector already verified its accuracy!

Quintin_Stone wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:
Also, will the new Sim City have some online mode too?

Oh, I guess you missed that update.

http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/node/1...

Mmmkay. Given how that worked on Mass Effect, I am gonna pass.

Steam has been hinky the past month for me in offline mode. Seems that if you shut down after they push a major update, lose internet connectivity, you cannot get back onto Steam without a web connection-it has some more downloading to do. I found that out after I switched ISPs last month.

I will still take the online checks over the root kits we got 10 years ago.

But I still see the checks as a major middle finger to mobile/laptop PC gamers. Might be a fun time to play some Sim City on a plane perhaps?
I am still remembering the issue of servicemen shut out from enjoying a lot of these games due to a need for live web connections, and doing away with LAN for many of the popular games. Even better is the rise in region checking, sorry national and international travelers, we think you criminal.

fangblackbone wrote:
one that’s powered by our hybrid cloud model.

What exactly is a "hybrid cloud model"?

Games powered by electricity and ethanol.

Games powered by thunder and lightning.

FIXED.

That's very very frightening.

Aaron D. wrote:
That's very very frightening.

Trying to think if saying Frank Gibeau as they would say Galileo in that song is funny or not. I'm guessing not.

Mimble wrote:
Vector wrote:
Well, he mentions how he feels that consumers interests have changed and that consumers no longer want singleplayer games. His evidence for this is the amount of money that microtransactions and other online features generate. Which, honestly, isn't a bad metric for a company to measure itself by. He's proud that they adjusted their game production to account for this rather than not take advantage of it.

I agree about the metric thing, now that you've said it, that makes a lot of sense from a making money point of view - but I still think not greenlighting single player games seems like a bad idea, it feels like they're throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

I don't think it's a great idea either. If it's a blanket policy it instantly shuts the doors on opportunities and that's never good for business.

fangblackbone wrote:

And in the case of Bioware/Dragon Age/Mass Effect, isn't DLC "online components". It doesn't have to mean DA3 will have death match.

Didn't think of it like that. I hope you are right. I'm replaying DA2 and am looking forward to see how DA3 turns out. I even like the way they handled the DLC.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
But Certis, Vector already verified its accuracy! ;)

That should be a feature for all information sites. "Vector Verifies Vaccuracy"

ClockworkHouse wrote:
I'm curious about what he means when he says he hasn't greenlit one title. He's been president of EA's games division since 2007. Since then, EA has published, among other things:
  • All three Mass Effect games
  • Both Crysis games
  • The Army of Two games
  • The Dead Space series
  • Mirror's Edge
  • Both Dragon Age games
  • Dante's Inferno

Those are just the games that jumped out to me as having strong single-player components. Yes, some of them have competitive or cooperative multiplayer, and all of them have DLC, but it's not like EA has stopped publishing strong single-player experiences under Gibeau's tenure. They've just stopped publishing single-player only experiences.

My guess is that when he brags that all of their games are connected "24/7/365" that he's talking about things like DLC, multiplayer, leaderboards, etc., etc. Hell, even their Wii games have been heavily plugged-in with DLC and other online components. In that sense, EA isn't any different than most any other major publisher these days, even the darling ones that get free passes.

EA didn't publish the first Mass Effect. And they aquired Bioware with the 2nd basically finished. DLC might count though?

I guess they're counting the score time trial thing from Mirror's Edge

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Those are just the games that jumped out to me as having strong single-player components. Yes, some of them have competitive or cooperative multiplayer, and all of them have DLC, but it's not like EA has stopped publishing strong single-player experiences under Gibeau's tenure. They've just stopped publishing single-player only experiences.

That's pretty much how I read his statement. If DLC counts then nothing he said is even interesting. He has basically said "I'm interested in generating products that continue to make money after initial purchase".

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Destructoid wrote:

Electronic Arts' games label boss Frank Gibeau has revealed that he's not let any solely single-player games pass through his gates, ensuring that absolutely every single title the company publishes has an online component.

"We are very proud of the way EA evolved with consumers," stated the executive. "I have not green lit one game to be developed as a singleplayer experience. Today, all of our games include online applications and digital services that make them live 24/7/365.


Just thought I'd highlight a relevant part of his quote that folks seem to be ignoring in this thread.

nel e nel wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:

Destructoid wrote:

Electronic Arts' games label boss Frank Gibeau has revealed that he's not let any solely single-player games pass through his gates, ensuring that absolutely every single title the company publishes has an online component.

"We are very proud of the way EA evolved with consumers," stated the executive. "I have not green lit one game to be developed as a singleplayer experience. Today, all of our games include online applications and digital services that make them live 24/7/365.


Just thought I'd highlight a relevant part of his quote that folks seem to be ignoring in this thread.

You may be right, but the highlighted statement and the one right before that say two different things imo. Or the executive's just bad at clearly explaining himself.

Superbeard wrote:
nel e nel wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:

Destructoid wrote:

Electronic Arts' games label boss Frank Gibeau has revealed that he's not let any solely single-player games pass through his gates, ensuring that absolutely every single title the company publishes has an online component.

"We are very proud of the way EA evolved with consumers," stated the executive. "I have not green lit one game to be developed as a singleplayer experience. Today, all of our games include online applications and digital services that make them live 24/7/365.


Just thought I'd highlight a relevant part of his quote that folks seem to be ignoring in this thread.

You may be right, but the highlighted statement and the one right before that say two different things imo. Or the executive's just bad at clearly explaining himself.

Clearly you are ignoring my signature.

nel e nel wrote:
Superbeard wrote:

You may be right, but the highlighted statement and the one right before that say two different things imo. Or the executive's just bad at clearly explaining himself.

Clearly you are ignoring my signature.

Well played.

Scratched wrote:
Isn't this old news? I remember one of the EA execs saying a few years back he went around bothering developers to think of ways to shoehorn online into all their games if it didn't have it.

Here we go from two years ago: https://www.develop-online.net/featu...

Mr Gibeau again, errr, before:

Gibeau: So I don’t go up to every game team and ask – what is your deathmatch mode? [laughs] I look at how to make games a broader idea with online services.

(Tip of the hat to Haxim on the shack)

Well, thanks for the post -- now I know one more publisher I can absolutely ignore.

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