GameDaily.biz published an interview with CEO Andrew Wilson of EA at E3 2019. The interview covered a wide array of topics such as EA’s mistakes, successes, the issues surrounding Anthem, and the future of the company and the gaming industry.
One of the topics that were discussed during the interview was about some of EA’s mistakes that they have made in the past such as the problems surrounding Star Wars Battlefront II. Wilson said “We found ourselves in the middle of a pretty challenging conversation on that one in particular. The game, even at launch, was- I don’t want to go as far as to say a great game-it was a really good game. It had some issues with the progression system, and the team made a lot of promises about what they were going to put into the game. I’d like to believe that a lesser company would have just tossed it and moved on.”
Another game that has had its fair share of troubles is Anthem. While discussing one of the many reasons why Anthem didn’t click with audiences as they would’ve liked. Wilson said, “we brought together these two groups of players who were making this emotional value calculation on two different vectors. One was traditional BioWare story driven content, and the other was this action-adventure type content. About the 30 or 40 hour mark they really had to come together and start working in on the elder game. At that point everyone kind of went, ‘Oh, hang a minute.’ Now the calculation is off. It’s off because I’ve got a friend who sits in this other category of player. They want to play the game a certain way. I want to play the game a certain way. The promise was we can play together, and that’s not working very well. Oh, by the way I’m used to 100 hours of BioWare story, and that’s not what I got.’ Or, ‘I expected that this game would have meaningfully advanced the action component that we’d seen in games like Destiny before, and I don’t feel like it has.”
Andrew Wilson also talked about how “Bioware has to evolve” because of the growing audience of gamers who see Bioware games diferently than before. Some only know Bioware from a game like Anthem while others know them for a completly different kind of game. “The teams at Bioware will continue to come to work every day and listen to their players old and new and seek to deliver on the promises they’ve made to those players. That’s what you’re seeing with Anthem today.”
Andrew Wilson also discussed the future of EA and AAA publishing. Wilson’s focus is on player motivation and live games don’t scratch every itch players might have. “The way we built games 20 years ago actually doesn’t fulfill what has become a very core motivation of why people play today,” Wilson continued. “That’s why games like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Spider-Man and Uncharted and these types of games will continue to exist because yes, at the very core we want social interaction, and we see how digital media is a prime source for our social interaction today. But we still have these other motivations that we’re trying to fulfill as players.
The games-as-a-service concept is likely to be foundational to our future because it fulfills the very core motivation of how we interact as human beings. That doesn’t mean that has to be the case for every game, and it also doesn’t mean that games that don’t embody that at its very core can’t be part of that broader network value that I have as a player.”