EA is Considering Ditching Annual Sports Releases

By Laura Kate Dale on at

There are a few video games that you can count on being released every single year, and probably top of that list are EA Sports' behemoths Madden and Fifa. Now, however, it seems like EA might finally be moving away from this model and looking at Madden and Fifa as ongoing platforms rather than annual isolated releases, according to an interview with Bloomberg.

In the interview, EA chief Andrew Wilson suggested the idea that in the future, EA might instead turn Fifa and Madden into a "365-day, live service", where players might pay either a subscription fee, or purchase DLC updates, to keep their version of the game relevant and up-to-date.

"There's a few different things that have got to happen first. We do a lot in a FIFA game every year, and a lot in a Madden game. There's a lot of code that we make available as part of the new iteration. But when we look at what we do in Korea or China, we don't do it that way. There, every four years we release a new big code drop, and we offer incremental change over time. So what we see, you know, in Korea and China, what we see on mobile, I think there's a world where that might also happen in other parts of our business."

“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. We can really think about those games as a 365-day, live service.”

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. Wilson did not confirm any sort of timetable for this shift, or even confirm it would happen for sure, but the direction feels like a natural fit for EA's sports releases.