Gamers and videogame investors alike get pretty excited about the industry’s annual E3 conference, when the major publishers make announcements about their upcoming slates and offer some demos.
Though the conference doesn’t officially kick off until Tuesday, Electronic Arts has already made some announcements and shed light on its strategy going forward.
EA spoke about Star Wars Battlefront 2, due out in November, which will take a newly popular approach with its add-on content. Right now, publishers can charge users for things like extra map packs, but that “bifurcates the community into haves and have-nots, who can’t play together,” Jefferies analyst Timothy O’Shea wrote. So EA will make map packs and modes free, and instead charge for card packs that unlock different “abilities” within a game.
O’Shea calls this a “win for gamers and investors alike.” Consumers are able to play the same modes as their friends, while EA still gets to sell highly profitable add-on content that extends a game’s shelf life.
Other EA developments also sounded promising. FIFA “looked great as expected” and Battlefront 2 will have three times as much content as its predecessor, according to O’Shea. Meanwhile, when Microsoft unveiled its new Xbox One X console, it showed off a new role-playing EA game, called Anthem. The title is expected out in 2018 and was showcased last, “a slot usually reserved for blockbuster third-party titles.”
“Product announcements give us confidence in-game spending will continue to ramp; this in turn reinforces out thesis EA will become more profitable over time,” O’Shea concluded.
Big Picture: As a big videogame conference gets underway, Electronic Arts is talking about how it plans to expand its customer base without forsaking profits.