EA teases "tactical programs" with Sony

Executive Frank Gibeau says unannounced deals will make things "much more balanced."

Electronic Arts' various exclusivity deals with Microsoft are not a sign that EA is supporting Microsoft over Sony, according to executive Frank Gibeau. In fact, the EA Labels president explained to Edge that EA has unannounced "tactical programs" in the works with Sony that will even out the playing field.

"We're not tilting Microsoft's way; we are firm longterm supporters of Sony," Gibeau said. "I'm sure you'll see tactical programs between us and Sony in the future that we haven't announced, but will make things much more balanced."

EA has aligned with Microsoft for Battlefield 4 downloadable content, as the Second Assault DLC will launch first on Xbox One. In addition, the EA Partners-published Titanfall is announced only for Xbox and PC platforms, while Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare and Peggle 2 will ship first on Xbox platforms.

On top of those deals, all Xbox One preorders in Europe will include a free copy of FIFA 14.

Gibeau insisted in August that EA's various exclusivity deals with Microsoft do not signal favor in one camp over the other. "We're changing nothing in our policy about being platform-agnostic," he said at the time.

Also in the interview, Gibeau said the Xbox One and PS4 had a "combative" summer and offered his take on how Sony and Microsoft have matched up thus far.

"I think the Sony team has executed exceptionally well--and they did not execute particularly well on PS3, whereas last time around Microsoft executed perfectly," Gibeau said. "This time, Microsoft has run into some challenges, some leadership changes, but they're a very resilient organization, and if you look at their counter-punches on any setbacks, they've done a pretty good job of getting back on track."

The PS4 and Xbox One go head-to-head next month, when the next-generation consoles hit the market on November 15 and November 22, respectively.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
186 comments
JBStone1981
JBStone1981

Imagine how much different the tone of this article would be if instead of tactical programs, it was "tickle programs." 

I think I'd enjoy a tickle program.

gamer112696
gamer112696

This is one of the reasons why I like Microsoft.  If they want something, they just pay an enormous amount of money for it.  I'll be getting both consoles for many reasons.  But if I were to only buy one, I would get the Xbox because they often keep good exclusives away from PS4 by paying lots of money.  I would understand that you would hate EA if you're getting a PS4, because I would too.  But I hate to admit I love a lot of EA's games, even though I hate that they closed Pandemic Studios and prevented the release of Battlefront 3.

eseninja7
eseninja7

Don't favor X Box One my ass

franky111
franky111

Microsoft got in bed with EA when they thought they could force the gaming industry into a place where the customer's rights of ownership were almost completely severed, but then Sony came along and didn't play ball, and won legions of converts.

Now that EA sees that not only has Sony refusing to comply with  EA/Microsoft's "vision" for the future, and that sales for Microsoft aren't as well as they had hoped as a result, EA is finally beginning to backtrack on their relationship with Microsoft.

battlefront1943
battlefront1943

If you read this carefully, it's EA saying...

"MIcrosoft, your pre-sale numbers are low.  I know we were cozy in the past and did some deals, but Sony has bigger numbers this time around so we're going to do some deals with them too.  And don't expect any long-term exclusives MS...  unless you sell a lot more boxes than your pre-sale numbers suggest."

In short, the honeymoon's over MS.

watts1204
watts1204

Sorry but is that a man or woman?

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

ummm titanfall and we can call it even

wexorian
wexorian

I'l translate this message. EA send message to sony :

Pay us money for more attention :)

R083R70
R083R70

If they try to make any Bioware games exclusive that aren't for my particular console I'll go fucking berserk (if it's reversed I'll feel sad for the ones who missed out but now quite berserk). 

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

If EA put Dead Space 4 on PS4 as an exclusive and it was completely the shit, I'd un-cancel my PS4 pre-order. That's all they'd have to do. Or, better yet, System Shock 3 - and it actually didn't suck balls - guaranteed pre-order.

Mr_Big_Boss
Mr_Big_Boss

Greed, don't you know that's a sin EA?

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

I'd consider that a negative for EA to be one of your supporters.

PinchySkree
PinchySkree

Make a sequel to Solder:Secret Wars, that would make my decade.

Diegoctba
Diegoctba

If Sony pays well, they will get Titanfall too, and everybody gonna love Titanfall.

And it's going to be TitanFAIL. (you got it? i changed the fall for fail)

Sun-Tzu-GE
Sun-Tzu-GE

I just want deals for games like Dragon age and Mass effect on the PS 4 and the xbox one can keep all the Fifas and Battlefields.

haze0986
haze0986

keep your TACTICAL PROGRAM EA 

AngelsongCA
AngelsongCA

Screw EA.  Stupid Microsoft lapdog trying to play neutral now that they see the preorder numbers for PS4 games.  They didn't expect E3 to go so terribly so now they're backpedaling.  I'll never buy any of their games new, and not a single DLC will I buy from them.

howiex89
howiex89

I must be one of the few to not hate EA. They like money, they get a bit greedy but heck that's like most business  They also seem to end up being part of some of my favorite games. So this whole EA bashing I find bizzare. Anyway fair enough that they have deals with Sony. I'm quite happy with whats been worked out between MS and EA especially with Titanfall. 

MAXAM999
MAXAM999

That's right EA , Drop on your knees and beg Sony :D

RossRichard
RossRichard

Translation: XBox One went over about as well as a turd in the punchbowl at E3. So even though we were backing MS almost exclusively to try and force DRM on gamers, unless we support Sony our shareholders are going to have our heads on spikes.

Queuingreturns
Queuingreturns

EA siding with Microsoft for the beginning of next gen.

Hmmmmm... fishy.

surfacegeek
surfacegeek

Playstation users have an IQ greater than 260

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

Tactical? Is this warfare?

Microsoft secured exclusives for their console with bags of money. Since Ms doesn't have many in-house studios, they need to use funding for these exclusives.

I'm curious now what partnerships they have with Sony for next year. There's always the chance that Ms continues to send bags of money to EA to keep certain content exclusive.

Evilbunz
Evilbunz

What?? Sony exclusives were far superior with the ps3. 360 had halo and gow and forza.

Money can't get you good 1st party titiles. Sony studios know how to make good games. Microsoft can hand out money but their 1st first party devs are not great.

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

@watts1204 i was tryign to figure that out too.  Either its a woman with a very manly looking face, or a guy with man boobs.  It's a little distracting.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@Grenadeh "and it actually didn't suck balls" and "pre-order". How would you know?

deathstream
deathstream

@Diegoctba 

Sony could have had Titanfall, but weren't willing to pay the money for the servers.

deathstream
deathstream

@AngelsongCA 

Nonsense.  They have always been MOSTLY platform agnostic.  Once they bought Bioware even Mass Effect came to the Playstation.

deathstream
deathstream

@howiex89 

EA was the main company behind the push to put SecuRom on PC games.  They pissed off a LOT of gamers with that crap.  Their Freemium games are outrageously priced (PvZ2 being the exception).  They have done a lot to get a bad reputation.

But they aren't as bad as they used to be and other companies have been even more aggressive than EA was with similar strategies.

monkeypukefight
monkeypukefight

@howiex89 you're not alone, i love alot af games EA publishes so how can i hate them... dude, they're gonna give me star wars games in the next couple of years... I LOVE THEM!! (i'm such a nerd)

deathstream
deathstream

@RossRichard 

Almost all their games were multiplatform for next gen.  MS is in a good position less than a month before launch.  EA is trying to erase the perception of bias.  That is all.

GreekTheGeek
GreekTheGeek

You outlined pretty much what probably happened in their exec meetings, so good to have ea grovellling as they botched up

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

@b74kd3th Oh yeah, MS pwns so hard it needs to give away free EA games with XBone pre-orders in Europe just to get anyone to give a damn. Way to pwn EA Microsoft!

gamer112696
gamer112696

@Evilbunz I was talking about the exclusives for the Xbox One.  Although I am very excited for Killzone.  I also like Uncharted, but I enjoy Killzone a little more.  Funny that you mentioned those 3 360 games, because those happen to be some of my favorites.  I agree that their first party developers are bad...actually I don't even know of any.  Actually I think Turn 10 is a first party developer for xbox (but I might be wrong).  I feel that the PS3 had many more exclusives which enables many more good games to be released.  However, despite the lack of 360 exclusives, the exclusives made up for their losses in quality (as you said...Halo and GOW).  I was trying to point out that I would be a little worried if I only owned the PS4, because you never know when Microsoft will throw some money at a developer to keep a good game from becoming multi-platform (e.g. Titanfall or Dead Rising 3).

PinchySkree
PinchySkree

@hystavito @PinchySkree The brokeness of it was half the fun.

We had a find a bug challenge and I almost always won.

The bugs inlcuded things like:

- Firing a 200 round MG whilst doing a dance emote, great after dropping right into someones spawn with that 360 spin!

- Jumping whilst reloading makes you go twice as far and through some roofs.

- Doing the dive move whilst firing a launcher made the projectile go dead straight.

- Leaving a Marder where the chopper spawns and watching it bouce into the sky whent he chopper was destroyed again.

-Dive rolling throguh a window into a terminal and being unkillable but you can still shoot out.

Skrilla_XS
Skrilla_XS

@deathstream @AngelsongCA Eventually sure (Mass Effect), but now, it's obvious they're tilting in Microsoft's favor, heavily. Their neutral days are over.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@deathstream @howiex89 No, they're worse than they used to be. In the 2000s all they did was buy the rights to all major league sports - so literally no other companies could make sports games with trademarks like MLB or NBA or NHL or whatever. Other than that, they put mandatory logo screens in every game. Oh and they also invented DLC/Expansion raping by releasing as many sims expansions as fucking possible, and charging 20 bucks for each.

But no, they;re definitely worse than they used to be. There's more DLC for DS3 than the original game cost when it was new. There's more DLC for BF3 than the game originally cost new. Let's not mention how they purchased C and C from Westwood, completely ruined the franchise, and converted it to F2P. Or how they ruined Maxis - aside from the DLC. Or how they canned Dead Space because it didn't sell 18 million copies so it had to go. Or how they are sitting on the rights to the holy grail of modern first person games - System Shock 2 - and doing nothing with them.

Sim City? Ring a bell? EA is at it's absolute worst, with their protege Capcom close behind.

revlux88
revlux88

@Grenadeh Actually the only major sports orgs that E.A. has exclusive rights to is the NFL as far as I know. They have agreements with the NBA and NHL but it is not exclusive.

(which is why we see games like NBA 2k13)