EA making sure all games have online component

EA's Frank Gibeau has talked about his company's push toward online connectivity, noting that he hasn't green lit any games to be developed purely as single-player experiences.

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EA games have been notably more connected lately. From Mass Effect to Dead Space, the publisher's traditionally single-player titles are all getting some kind of online hook -- usually in the form of multiplayer modes. EA takes this as a point of pride, and studio present Frank Gibeau has indicated that will continue for the foreseeable future.

"We are very proud of the way EA evolved with consumers. I have not green lit one game to be developed as a single-player experience," Gibeau said at a Cloud Gaming conference reported by Superannuation (via PC Gamer). "Today, all of our games include online applications and digital services that make them live 24/7/365."

The answer came in the midst of boasts about how EA has positioned itself comfortably as the digital model creeped into retail. He says the company is better positioned than companies that are "marooned on one platform," since it hasn't abandoned the consoles for mobile devices and social games. "One of our biggest growth opportunities is Play4Free titles that allow customers to play at no cost and make purchases via microtransactions," he added.

Gibeau also noted the connectivity of the FIFA series, not only with online modes but for cross-platform features and stat tracking with the actual sport. He promised the company will be integrating similar features into other franchises like Madden, Battlefield, and SimCity soon.

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  • reply
    September 5, 2012 9:00 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, EA making sure all games have online component.

    EA's Frank Gibeau has talked about his company's push toward online connectivity, noting that he hasn't green lit any games to be developed purely as single-player experiences.

    • reply
      September 5, 2012 9:06 AM

      whelp, say goodbye to Mirrors Edge 2 then..unless they find a way to shoehorn in coop or multiplayer.

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        September 5, 2012 9:10 AM

        Time trials or races where you can affect the geometry and make it hard for other players to advance. Co-op races could be cool too.

        I mean, yeah, I wouldn't care, a lot of people wouldn't care, but if it meant Mirror's Edge 2 gets made, well, there you go.

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          September 5, 2012 9:13 AM

          Well, Time trials & races in the first one already had an online leaderboards, following EA's reasoning, it's already part of this (kinda silly) strategy.

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            September 5, 2012 9:25 AM

            For some reason I doubt online scoreboards count as part of this 'online experience'.

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              September 5, 2012 10:26 AM

              They do. In the original interview a while back he was talking about things like Autolog and whatnot being the sort of thing they were after.

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        September 5, 2012 10:00 AM

        as if mass effect 3 multiplayer had anything to do with the game...

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          September 5, 2012 10:13 AM

          sort of did, in that you had to play it in order to get the best ending, or did they change it?

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            September 5, 2012 10:38 AM

            You never had to play it to get the best ending, it just made it easier.

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              September 5, 2012 8:38 PM

              IIRC you couldn't get the Shepard lives ending without playing mp

      • reply
        September 5, 2012 6:19 PM

        Mirror's Edge 1 had online connectivity

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        September 5, 2012 6:51 PM

        If they screw with the single player Mirror's Edge experience I will send tactical nukes in their direction.

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      September 5, 2012 9:11 AM

      the days of firing up the classics are over for our kids generation. all the games they played as kids, the servers will be down when they have children of their own.

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        September 5, 2012 9:14 AM

        That's my fear as well. We already lost countless of game experience with the death of many MMORPGs, and now it's spreading to other games with a central service.

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      September 5, 2012 9:14 AM

      That's cool. I won't buy EA games if I want interesting writing, or story, or cool SP experiences then. Guess that leaves.....Battlefield?

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      September 5, 2012 9:18 AM

      Mr. Gibeau would have ruined Skyrim I take it? not all games need a multiplayer component. SIGH.

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        September 5, 2012 9:54 AM

        What, you don't want to share your Elder Scrolls experience coop with xXx{DoHvAkIn_FuKr}xXx ?

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        September 5, 2012 10:02 AM

        imho, skyrim should've had a coop. i mean, you always go around with a follower. instead of being one of the dumbest ai in video game history, it could've been your friend

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          September 5, 2012 10:28 AM

          I don't see how Bethesda could have done coop in Skyrim especially on consoles. Without a server to host the game world on, anyways.

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            September 5, 2012 8:39 PM

            I think he's picturing a Fable 2 experience, where your co-op partner is just a stooge that follows you around.

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        September 5, 2012 10:34 AM

        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.

        http://www.develop-online.net/features/1067/EAs-leap-of-faith

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      September 5, 2012 9:22 AM

      This social connect stuff, and most of their multiplayer bolt-ons, really haven't been worthwhile at all. Games need to focus on what they do best, not spread out into pointless satellite features.

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        September 5, 2012 11:10 AM

        Yeah it's all just useless noise up to a point. Online features are great if there's actual multiplayer that makles sense for the game or leaderboards or whatever

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      September 5, 2012 9:29 AM

      This is why EA are fucking retards. God I hate that fucking company.

    • reply
      September 5, 2012 9:43 AM

      Multiplayer is not an essential component for many games. This is a fucking retarded approach. >:(

    • reply
      September 5, 2012 9:49 AM

      sighhhhhhhhh

    • reply
      September 5, 2012 9:51 AM

      Kind of (not) funny that the the publisher that's pressing the hardest to have online connectivity in every game is the same one that's notorious for shutting down servers for games that are only a year or two old.

    • reply
      September 5, 2012 9:57 AM

      Why do I get the feeling that this is more about getting "always on" DRM into all their games?

    • reply
      September 5, 2012 9:58 AM

      They are only doing this for DLC marketing and piracy and resale reduction.

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        September 5, 2012 8:20 PM

        I'd be more inclined to buy single player DLC for most games.

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      September 5, 2012 9:59 AM

      Well, that will surely make some of my buying decisions easier down the road.

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      September 5, 2012 10:03 AM

      Ugh. This is the worst trend in gaming ever :(

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      September 5, 2012 10:36 AM

      I don't see a problem with adding some kind of connected element to games. We're not talking about shoehorning in multiplayer. Nobody plays games in a vacuum. Look at all the people that post here about their experiences! It'd be nice if there was something in-game that could tap into that feeling of "connectedness".

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        September 5, 2012 10:46 AM

        The WiiU is actually making that part of their platform. If that's all you're talking about then sure, I agree. But I doubt very much that's what EA is thinking.

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          September 5, 2012 11:04 AM

          I think that's very much what EA is thinking.
          Here's an interview from a while back with some actual substance as to what their strategy is (or at least was at the time): http://www.develop-online.net/features/1067/EAs-leap-of-faith
          Note that at no point does he mention all games having a multiplayer component, and actually actively comes out against that stance. Also note that in this most recent article "connectivity" is mentioned in conjunction with things like FIFA's stat tracking with the actual sport.

    • reply
      September 5, 2012 10:40 AM

      And dragon age 3 begins the slow decent into the realm of shit.

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        September 5, 2012 10:50 AM

        holy shit I forgot about that. I was a HUGE dragon age 1 (and expansion) fan. I'm worried.

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        September 5, 2012 10:51 AM

        After dragon age 2, do you really think it needs to descend to get there?

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          September 5, 2012 10:57 AM

          DA2 delved into the realm of bile, phlegm, and political/religious threads. Going to the realm of shit would be an improvement.

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      September 5, 2012 10:49 AM

      Hmm, single player is all I am interested in.

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      September 5, 2012 12:03 PM

      LOL up here in CANADA they call me the CANADIAN ORACLE. let me drop some science on you FOOLS.

      the conditions have returned such that "engagement = money". there was a while there from like 1995 to 2005 where this was less the case. gaming mostly meant you buy a $50 product, and the company got $50 of your dollars irregardless of whether you finished the game or not. and this was the primary way you gota game. now that more gamers are kewl enough with DLC and microtransactions, its now back to "while you keep a gamer playing your game, you will earn money". the whole online push comes from the general idea that it is cheaper and easier to keep more gamers engaged for longer through social and multiplayer means. there are a few notable exceptions, but this is generaly the case. this is something that EVERYBODY is understanding now, not just EA. they just make headlines for saying it.

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      September 5, 2012 1:33 PM

      just another box to be checked by a bunch of guys who don't know why games sell when they do sell well. success is an accident at EA these days.

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      September 5, 2012 5:57 PM

      Gibeau issued a retraction / clarification via Kotaku's Evan Narcisse: http://kotaku.com/5940782/ea-says-theyre-not-killing-single+player-games

      "... You can have a very deep single-player game but it has to have an ongoing content plan for keeping customers engaged beyond what's on the initial disc. I'm not saying deathmatch must come to Mirror's Edge.

      "What I'm saying is if you're going do it, do it with an open-world game that's a connected experience where you can actually see other players, you can co-operate, you can compete and it can be social. Everything that we do, we see the telemetry coming in telling us that's the best way to build our business and that's the best way to build these experiences and be differentiated from others. Yeah, I'm not suggesting deathmatch must be in Bejeweled. It's just… You need to have a connected social experience where you're part of a large community."


      Sigh. Remember back when Yager developer Cory Davis said that multiplayer was bolted onto Spec Ops: The Line? http://www.shacknews.com/article/75505/spec-ops-the-line-multiplayer-like-a-cancerous-growth Remember back when Irrational gave up on trying to bolt on a multiplayer mode to Bioshock Infinite? http://www.shacknews.com/article/75215/report-bioshock-infinite-multiplayer-modes-axed-game-still-on-track

      He does try to dissuade fears of alienating single-player narrative with social elements:

      "The new Sim City, you can play single-player. Mass Effect 3, you can play single-player. FIFA, Madden… I still passionately believe in single-player games and think we should build them. What I was trying to suggest with my comments was that as we move our company from being a packaged goods, fire-and-forget business to a digital business that has a service component to it. That's business-speak for ‘I want to have a business that's alive and evolves and changes over time'"

      Frankly, Frank, I don't trust you to responsibly integrate social elements with single-player narrative. I think I'll just stand back and seek that from other developers.

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        September 5, 2012 6:01 PM

        autolog and battlelog are cool. stop being such a HATER

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          September 5, 2012 6:03 PM

          So you'd be okay with autolog popups in the middle of Dead Space 3?

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            September 5, 2012 6:07 PM

            Achievement Unlocked: Meet my Aunt Sally

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            September 5, 2012 6:08 PM

            Dead Space ends with 3 so its a moo point

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              September 5, 2012 6:10 PM

              i meant they are ending the series with the third game and they didnt add autolog so its a MOOT point

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                September 6, 2012 9:16 AM

                How many games have developers told us will "only be a trilogy" and are branching out to sagas? Halo, for instance, they said it was only going to be 3 games. Well, they saw a loophole. "ODST" and Reach were the loopholes. So now that 343 Industries has taken over on Halo, we have Halo 4 out this year. Gears of War was supposed to "only be a trilogy," yet we have a "sub-story" or "pre-story" to Gears of War X.

                Gist of it is: when a developer says "it's only going to be a trilogy," they are full of shit.

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            September 5, 2012 6:14 PM

            EA will shut down those online components five years down the line anyway, so you can enjoy it then.

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              September 6, 2012 9:18 AM

              Five years you say? They cut games that debuted on the original Xbox last year. That's ~10 years?

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            September 5, 2012 7:34 PM

            Bloopbloop Experience 15 seconds of tension
            Bloopbloop Become aware of breathing sound around next corner
            Bloopbloop Experience 25 seconds of tension
            Bloopbloop Suspend disbelief

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        September 5, 2012 6:19 PM

        My word, a statement consistent with what he said over 20 months ago! Devious EA, devious! We won't be fooled again!

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          September 6, 2012 9:19 AM

          You won't be fooled again, I won't be fooled again, but there are idiots out there who just want to play games. And don't care what the developers/publishers do to the game. It's the tried and true (I'll say it before someone else does: "elitists") gamers that don't put up with the shit slinging dev/publishers do.

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        September 5, 2012 7:30 PM

        Did you play ME3 SP or MP? The MP is super good. Don't get me wrong, I'm not an EA apologist, but it's fun as fuck.

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      September 5, 2012 6:11 PM

      This explains the new simcity....ugh.

      So sad I love firing up older games it's almost all I play anymore at least on pc. Simcity4, empire earth, quake 3, frees pace, etc great no hassle games

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      September 5, 2012 6:21 PM

      Guys keep in mind that he's not saying "every game has multiplayer" - he's talking about online components. Shit like being able to compare your stats against other players.

      A good example would be Trials HD - it's single player, but the online component makes it even better.

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        September 5, 2012 6:22 PM

        Oh I see he clarified this himself above)

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        September 5, 2012 6:23 PM

        OAT, I believe you meant to post: "GRAH EA DUM! DEATHMATCH MIRROR'S EDGE? ME MAD ME MAD!"

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        September 5, 2012 8:30 PM

        Yeah, I don't think this is going to be incredibly resource-intensive, but the execution of it has to be solid.

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          September 6, 2012 7:16 AM

          They've already proven they're capable of it with things like autolog!

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      September 5, 2012 6:48 PM

      In the last few months I've come to the conclusion that if you apply one solution to every problem, you are a cult member and eventually being in a cult has a cost.

      Shame they have and will waste lots of resources.

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        September 5, 2012 7:55 PM

        "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

        I think there's going to be a creativity crash in the AAA game segment, aside from a few select developers who are able to prevent themselves from succumbing to the temptation to pay-to-win every title.

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      September 6, 2012 8:55 AM

      Its ok, EA cant possibly keep fucking up their games and their devs reputations any more than they have already.
      I'm losing interest in gaming anyway.
      Soon I just wont give a fuck. I'm not alone either. Lets see if EA has a strategy to keep the 40 something crowd interested and more importantly paying for games.

      As it stands, I'm slowly reverting back to reading.

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        September 6, 2012 9:21 AM

        If EA can't keep fucking up their games, Command & Conquer would like to have a word with you. Free2Play model with micro-transactions is NOT the C&C I grew up with.

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      September 6, 2012 9:47 AM

      This is complete bullshit. I had no interested in playing the Dead Space 2 online content (which was a lame Left for Dead rip off anyway) or the Mass Effect 3 call of duty online mod. Slapping mediocre/uninspired online content on to every title just takes away from the time and resources spent on the single player experience, which what most of us want from these titles in the first place.

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      September 7, 2012 1:10 AM

      EA making sure I continue not buying their games.

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        September 8, 2012 12:29 AM

        I might be biased here, but I really liked ME3's MP.

        Again, I am a ME fanatic tho, and I thought they did a great job with 3 overall, SP and MP. Of course I had to really wait for the Extended Endings but omg, they totally made up for it, and Leviathan DLC is awesome.

        But I still think most games do not need an online component, social or MP-wise, Dead Space 2 as someone mentioned, was shit MP. Why bother?