Speaking at a press conference held earlier this week, EA’s VP of Northern Europe Keith Ramsdale revealed that the firm was “experiencing [a] massive change in the way games are played”, and that it’s “focussed on transforming all of [its] brands to these online universes”.
“We’re all experiencing massive change in the way games are played,” said Ramsdale.
“At EA we see our brands as ‘online universes’, where the consumer plays how he wants, when he wants, and on the device that he wants.
“So, let’s take FIFA. Imagine a player gets up in the morning and plays an online match on his 360 before going to work. On the bus, on his way to work, he practices his free kicks on his tablet. At lunch he looks at the transfer window on his PC. On the way home he chooses his kit on his smart phone. Here’s the thing: when he gets home to play again on his 360 that evening, all those achievements and updates will be alive in his game.
“EA are well-positioned by having globally recognised brands, blockbusters such as FIFA, Battlefield, Medal of Honor, Star Wars, The Sims and Need For Speed to name but others. We’re very focussed on transforming all of our brands to these online universes. And that gives the consumer full control of how and when they play in rich worlds of content.”
EA has already experimented with ‘online universes’ in a handful of its previous titles, including FIFA, Mass Effect, Battlefield and Need For Speed.
Battlefield and Need For Speed both featured online social networking systems that let users check their progress and set challenges to friends while away from their console. An iOS app for Mass Effect, meanwhile, let users check their in-game email and earn credits.
Expect an increased amount of connected online functionality in EA titles to come.
EA isn’t the only publisher to start experimenting with online universes, though.
At a recent press preview event for Far Cry 3, Ubisoft teased a feature that would allow players to ‘research’ and unlock new weapons from their PC and iPhone to later be used in the game’s multiplayer.
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