EA reveals its major motivations behind singleplayer games while reiterating that live services are the bedrock of its business.
In a recent earnings call, EA CEO Andrew Wilson discussed how singleplayer games fit into its portfolio and why the company will continue to make them. Wilson says that EA makes games for two reasons: storytelling and building online communities. Singleplayer games like Jedi: Fallen Order--whichsold so well that EA changed how it thinks about singleplayer games--fit into the more personal entertainment experience category.
Wilson didn't necessarily say that singleplayer games are "really really important," but did indicate that singleplayer experiences are more creatively-driven and less weighted on EA's business than live service games. Wilson seems to delineate singleplayer from live games and may hint that multiplayer/microtransactions won't be feature in future games like Mass Effect 5 and Dragon Age: Dreadwolf.
It's important to remember that EA is very much a service-first company. EA made 81%, or $1.426 billion, from live services in its first quarter as opposed to 19% or $341 million from full game sales. Singleplayer games do have a place at EA and Wilson was saying that it was "really really important" to match overall player expectations to the non-live titles.
Here's what EA CEO Andrew Wilson said in the recent Q1 FY23 earnings call:
"The way we think about this is really less about which game and more about which motivations to these games fulfill. So what we know about our players is on balance, they have these call motivations, inspiration, escape, social connection, competition, self-improvement, creation, these things that bring us together as players of games.
"And the creation of worlds and the building of characters and the telling of stories is really important in the fulfillment of some of those motivations.
"So when we think about our portfolio and we think about building it out, we really think about it on 2 key vectors. One, how can we tell incredible stories and two, how can we build tremendous online communities and then how do we bring those 2 things together.
"So the way -- when you look at our portfolio, what you should be looking for is how are we doing that? How we build in these worlds and telling new stories, how we're developing global online communities and how we're bringing those 2 things together for the fulfillment of motivations. And what we see when we get that is one, we grow network and two, we grow the amount of time that plays in our network spend in and around our games.
"And as we think about single-player games, we think it's a really, really important part of the overall portfolio that we deliver in the fulfillment of those core motivations. And the way we'll plan for it over time is really just looking at our community and looking at how they're spending their time and looking at where motivations may or may not be fulfilled and we'll look to supplement that with the addition of new online games, new multi-player games and new single-player games."