Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

EA May Not Release Madden and Other Sports Titles Annually Anymore

Fifa 18 Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo in Fifa 18. EA
Sherri Watson | 09 November, 2017, 22:24

Huge changes could be coming to EA Sports games like Madden, NHL and the Federation Internationale de Football Association series that will have a big impact on how we play sports games. Madden, for example, had felt the same way for years because the game ran on EA's "Ignite" game engine from 2013-16, switching to Frostbite this year.

If you are among the many that are highly critical of EA (2017 has made it very easy to, honestly), then a new interview CEO Andrew Wilson where he discussed the possibility of the publisher relying on online updates or subscriptions instead of releasing a new annual version of its titles might not change your opinion of it.

"There's a world where it gets easier and easier to move that code around - where we may not have to do an annual release". Instead, these games could switch to a digital "live service" or subscription model, with incremental updates throughout the year.

Honestly, it's kind of surprising hasn't happened already, as the online infrastructure for this kind of always-online sports game has existed since last console generation.

One of the biggest criticisms levied against the EA Sports games is that there's very little change to their content year-to-year.

Of course, if EA does decide to change the way it publishes and distributes its sports games, there would likely be additional cost for consumers associated with that.

What do you think of Electronic Arts dropping yearly releases of FIFA, Madden NFL, and Madden NHL and offer Games as service by streaming them through monthly or yearly subscriptions? It kicked off with EA Access, a subscription service that grants users access to a library of "vault" games, with newer titles added between 6 and 9 months after release. The most recent EA titles aren't included in Origin Access until a certain amount of time after launch, thereby encouraging those who want to play a new release right away to pay outright for it. Still, don't be surprised if we see those franchises make the transition from yearly series to games as a service sometime soon.