Currently, we get a new FIFA, Madden, and NHL every year. But EA says there will likely come a time where that is no longer the case and instead we get subscription-based live services.
EA CEO Andrew Wilson responded to a question from Bloomberg about whether this might ever happen by saying, “The short answer is yes.” However, don’t expect it to happen any time soon: “There’s a few things that have got to happen first,” Wilson explained. “We do a lot in a FIFA game every year and a lot in a Madden game, and there’s a lot of code that we make available as part of the new iterations.
“But [in Korea or China] we don’t do it that way: about every four years we release a big new code drop and we offer incremental change over time,” he continued. EA and other developers also choose to annually update sports games in the mobile space rather than release a new game every year–FIFA 18 is handled like this on iOS and Android, for example. “I think there’s a world where that might also happen in other parts of our business,” Wilson concluded.
EA’s Sports division is doing well commercially, with a “notable shift to digital … and remarkable growth in Ultimate Team,” according to the publisher. Its sports titles are doing well critically, too: our Madden NFL 18 review awarded the game a 9/10 and EA’s soccer game got a 7/10 in our FIFA 18 review.
FIFA may not be a subscription-based service just yet, but it has plenty of live content updates throughout the year. Just last week a new FIFA 18 patchdropped, and FUT continues to evolve each week. Would you like to see EA’s titles turn into full subscription-based live platforms, or are you happy buying a new game each year? Let us know in the comments below.