At the 2015 Stifel Technology, Internet, and Media Conference, Electronic Arts’s CFO Blake Jorgensen spoke towards the company’s future involvement with mobile devices.
According to a report on Gamespot, Jorgensen said that mobile devices are a “huge opportunity” for the company, as the powerful devices are rapidly catching up to consoles in terms of the technology required to be on par with the sorts of experiences that consoles currently deliver to gamers.
Speaking on tablets catching up to consoles, Jorgensen states that the occurrence “…will open up a whole new set of people to console-style games that are much more immersive, much deeper, much more character-driven than simply a static mobile game that you might play for a small burst of time…” The comments come days after EA laid off an undisclosed number of employees at their EA Mobile branch in Montreal.
Jorgensen’s comments flow with what EA chief creative officer, Richard Hilleman, said at the annual D.I.C.E conference about EA’s games being “too hard” for players to learn. Hilleman believes that the average player spends about two hours learning how to play a new game.
“Asking for two hours of somebody’s time–most of our customers, between their normal family lives…to find two contiguous hours to concentrate on learning how to play a video game is a big ask,” Hilleman said.
If mobile games are good at one thing collectively, it’s being ridiculously easy to pick up and play. Advantage: mobile.
EA has also been slowly, and successfully, trickling their major franchises into mobile form. Just look at last year’s SimCity BuildIt, Madden NFL Mobile, and FIFA 15 Ultimate – these are some of EA’s most popular franchises, and they are doing extremely well for EA on mobile devices. The thing is, these games are not just cheap after-thoughts designed to cash-in on brand recognition. In many instances, these games are good.
According to the 2014 EA financial report, monthly active users for EA Mobile brought in $160 million.
It’s clear that EA isn’t just sitting and waiting for mobile devices to catch up to consoles, they are already in the process of adapting their franchises (some more smoothly than others) to exist in a world where mobile devices are as strong (maybe even stronger) than the traditional game console.