In a document from the Cloud Gaming USA Conference & Exhibition EA's Frank Gibeau spoke on digital gaming and EA's direction with regard to future growth. His responses, while not surprising, were rather eye-opening. It's no question EA is refocusing on social and online services and features, a la FIFA, but the complete removal of "single-player experiences" is something else altogether.
"We are very proud of the way EA evolved with consumers. I have not green lit one game to be developed as a single player experience. Today, all of our games include online applications and digital services that make them live 24/7/365."
This direction for EA also involves expanding EA's current experiments onto a variety of other brands, bringing FIFA's online features to Battlefield, SimCity and Madden. Of course, expansion of free-to-play development is also a priority:
"One of our biggest growth opportunities is Play4Free titles that allow customers to play at no cost and make purchases via microtransactions. We see this as a huge opportunity, and one that’s powered by our hybrid cloud model."
Whatever your opinions may be on EA or their new range of social, free-to-play and multiplayer services, there's no argument that their titles are still immensely popular -- and profitable. Also, if anything, they're at least willing to continue discussing their views and policies with the public, which as a gamer and a member of the media is refreshing and respectable.