EA CEO on $60 Games, VR, and the Company’s Digital Business
“It doesn't matter how much money you spend, as long as you feel like you got value.”
Electronic Arts Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wilson doesn't think that the glut of free-to-play content on mobile devices and other platforms make it harder to justify $60 console games.
“It doesn't matter how much money you spend, as long as you feel like you got value,” Wilson told The New York Times in an interview. “People spend $300,000 on a Ferrari and feel good about it.” Wilson explained EA is just as focused on investment of time as investment in money. “Engagement is the world’s new profit metric,” he said.
Wilson also said that the company’s focus on its digital business is finally starting to pay off. 45 percent of EA’s revenue was digital last year (including PC, consoles, and mobile), and it’s expecting that number to rise to 50 percent or higher next year. Wilson credits this success to EA building a direct commercial relationship with players, and investing a lot in infrastructure, architecture, and security. “We took a good hard look at our business and said we have to manage costs better,” he said. “We want iteration, rapid prototyping, experimentation. But we don’t want random hobby projects around the company.”
Finally, reiterating statements he’s made previously, Wilson said he believes that VR will become more popular in the future. “We’re presently building our tools and technology and engines with a view to being able to render in that format,” he said.
Wilson recently admitted that the launch of last year's Battlefield 4 had "unacceptable" problems, and that EA was completely overhauling its QA system to make sure similar problems do not make it into future final products.
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