Frank Gibeau, the leader of the EA Games division inside Electronic Arts, has made it clear that the entire future of his company is linked to the Origin digital distribution service, because the coming period will be defined as a battle between the various gaming ecosystems.
The executive stated, “All I can say is that we’re multiplatform and we publish on everything. Where it makes sense for us, we’ll do it and when it doesn’t make sense, we won’t. We’re building an Origin store, an Origin platform, an Origin social network that works on the PC. So you can see where we are going with it.”
It’s interesting to note that Gibeau sees Apple and its App Store and the new store that will be integrated in Microsoft’s Windows 8 as the main competitors to Origin and made no mention of Valve and Steam.
In order to make Origin
a success, Electronic Arts needs to build an ecosystem around it, recruiting a strong player base and then creating a relationship with them and making sure that they have a good experience with the digital distribution service.
Gibeau also offered some clarification on the exploitation comments he made earlier during the month.
He stated, “People get pissed off when they are required to buy something in order to be competitive. So there’s this classic ebb and flow between older consumers and younger consumers that I see right now in our telemetry. Younger consumers have more time than money. Older consumers have more money than time.”
The free-to-play model is seen by many as the future of the gaming industry and success for a game is largely linked to a good balance between the sold items that only introduce cosmetic changes and those that have an impact on the gameplay.
Star Wars: The Old Republic, a BioWare and Electronic Arts game, will make the free-to-play move in November.