Like every other publisher in the games industry, EA is currently ramping up for next-gen with a slate of new games and IPs.
EA is cooking up something special for next-gen. Madden NFL 21 will lead the charge, but Battlefield 6 will be the main spectacle on a newly revamped Frostbite, followed by Dragon Age 4. But there's also lots of new games in the pipeline, including fresh new IPs. This is a big deal for EA, a company that typically makes the bulk of its billions from annualized sports games like FIFA and Madden.
In its recent FY2020 earnings call, EA CEO Andrew Wilson re-confirms new IPs are indeed on the way and that the upcoming slate is more exciting than ever. Bear in mind these new IPs might be wholly-owned titles, and as such, they'll be gateways to live service monetization. That's EA's bread and butter, after all (EA made $2.8 billion from microtransactions last year, or over half of total revenues).
"We've talked before about having new IP in development, both for console and PC and for mobile," Wilson said.
"We're excited about that. And I'd also say we've got a number of new incubation products that are starting to come together that are looking exciting for the future as well."
"So I don't think we've ever had as robust a pipeline of content ahead of us as we have right now. I don't think we've ever had the level of execution that we're seeing around the development and launch of content and the management of ongoing live services than we have right now.
"And while there are always challenges and interesting hurdles that we face delivering great interactive entertainment experiences, I would tell you, I'm very excited by what I see more so than I have been for our pipeline for a long time."
Everything we've heard from EA so far makes us believe any major new IPs will be optimized for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X as future-proof games.
Respawn head Vince Zampella is working on one of these new IPs at his new DICE LA studio.
Zampella took the reigns of EA's LA-based DICE studio in January, and plans to rebrand it into a new team and work on unique projects of their own.
"I think under Vince's leadership the expectation is to have them work on and create a game on their own," EA chief studios officer Laura Miele told the L.A. Times.
"And I genuinely believe that he is going to help guide them creatively. He's going to help them further fortify and build out their talent and their team. I think we're going to have a really strong studio out of our Los Angeles location. They can go from a support team to a full stand-alone studio to create a new game offering."
Wilson also gave brief insight on cadence and timing of new releases. Some games, like EA Sport titles, will release every year. Then comes shooters like Battlefield, which typically launch every 1-2 years (Battlefield 6 is launching in 2021 on next-gen hardware). Others are AAA games like Dragon Age 4 that release every several years.
"You'll continue to see us launch games on a multi-year basis, things like Battlefield or some of that titles that have Dragon Age would be a good example of that. You'll continue to see us think about games on a five and six year time horizon."
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