EA CEO Andrew Wilson was asked about how single-player games currently fit into the company’s portfolio during an earnings call. The question comes up as EA is seemingly reinvesting back into single-player games after putting a greater focus on online multiplayer games for a number of years now. Before directly answering the question the CEO explained that EA foremost has two goals with its portfolio.
When we think about our portfolio and we think about building it out, we really think about it on two 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 two things together?
He went on to share that EA can achieve its portfolio goals by growing its network and increasing the time players spend on it and in or around its games. Mr. Wilson then explained the strategy behind single-player 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 fulfilment of those core motivations.
And the way we 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 multiplayer games, and new single-player games.
In recent years EA has received criticisms over its handling of single-player games and at one point even came under fire for mocking people who enjoy them. EA posted a job listing for a single-player campaign for an upcoming Battlefield game and is working on a Dead Space remake along with the fourth installment of its Dragon’s Age franchise called Dragon Age: Dreadwolf. It is also known that Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, the sequel to 2019’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was leaked on Steam. Meanwhile, though, EA has reason to rely on its multi-player live-service games.
“If we think about the model impact and the financial impact of it, I think the first thing to always keep in mind is that live services still encompass, on a trailing 12-month basis, over 70% of our business, and that has been a proven, very reliable, highly reoccurring revenue stream, and that will still be the predominant driver in our P&L [profit and loss] long-term,” said Chris Suh (EA Chief financial officer).
Mr. Suh also added that EA will continue with its live-service titles but single-player launches as well.
Second, we’ve talked a lot about the areas of investment that we’re making, and that’s both in the live service as well as some of the single[-player] title launches that you’ve seen.
And so over the course of time we’ll continue to invest, our long-term growth will continue to invest in the ongoing, stable performance of our live services business and there’ll be some puts and takes along the way.