EA: The PC is an 'extremely healthy' platform

By on March 10, 2011, 11:30 AM
EA Games President Frank Gibeau had some good things to say about the future of PC gaming in a recent interview with Gamasutra. According to the executive, the company's overall strategy to regain market share includes a renewed focus in the platform, and noted that it was "totally conceivable" that the PC will become their biggest market in the future.

"The user base is gigantic," he said. "PC retail may be a big problem, but PC downloads are awesome. The margins are much better and we donít have any rules in terms of first party approvals. From our perspective, it's an extremely healthy platform."

Casual games on Facebook are a part of the plan, but FPS, MMORPGs and other PC genres are a huge focus for the company, with games like DICE's Battlefield 3 and BioWare's Star Wars: The Old Republic coming this year. EA also has a big interest in the free-to-play model, pointing out that Battlefield: Heroes is doing very well with 368, 241 new users every month on the PC alone and now have over 7 million registered users since launch. An open beta of Battlefield Play4Free is coming to PC in April and will use the same micro-transaction structure as its predecessor.

The publishing giant is looking to reclaim its once held throne at a time when the general perception about the company has dropped among gamers along its revenue -- which was down 15% last year. It's unlikely we'll see a radical shift in the short term considering console games accounted for 72% of EA's net revenues during its last reported quarter, but it's still good to see some renewed enthusiasm towards the most powerful and flexible gaming platforms of all.




User Comments: 29

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yRaz yRaz said:

It will take a lot to convince me that developers are going to make an effort in PC gaming. Consoles have a much bigger market share than PC. The money is in consoles. Although, I don't like the new EA business model of $60 PC games, where did the extra $10 come from? To the people who argue that it's just because things are getting more expensive in general, why aren't console games $70 if that was the case?

ansh1993 said:

It's very surprising that they are looking for the PC market . Consoles are better than PC's according to me .(for playing games)

ramonsterns said:

EA can cram it for all I care.

They destroyed what was left of Bioware.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

ansh1993 said:

It's very surprising that they are looking for the PC market . Consoles are better than PC's according to me .(for playing games)

Interesting news, but sadly way off the mark. Console graphics looks outdated compared to where PCs are now.

Lurker101 said:

ansh1993 said:

Consoles are better than PC's according to me .(for playing games)

I hope you're wearing asbestos underwear, because you know you're going to end up being flamed for that one.

Personally though, I think the only real place where consoles exceed PCs in gaming superiority is in social, multiplayer games. Multiplayer on PCs tend to be network based, either via LAN or over the internet, not leaving much room for any real social interaction. Plus there's almost always an amount of initial farting around to get networks and the game itself sorted. Multiplayer though, is as simple as two guys sitting on a couch. Or a group of people on a Wii. Or whatever. Pop your disk in and play away to your hearts content while still able to make actual interactions with those you're playing with.

Take away the social aspects though and the PC will win outright every single time. Yeah, there's a myriad of "can my hardware handle this", "the installation and set up are overly longwinded/complicated/whatever), but it's almost always worth it because you know you're getting something of considerably higher quality. The level of detail in PC games can be so much higher than that of a console game, so your gaming experienced is improved that much more. You don't even have to simply accept what you're given, especially these days, either. If you think the texture set in a game sucks, or you're bored with the weapons, you can simply crack open the game folders and create your own content for it. If you're not exactly skilled at modding, chances are that somebody else feels the same way as you about the game, but is skilled and has released his or her own changes online.

I know I'm only hitting the tip of the iceberg on this subject, but I can't be bothered to type up any more on this, so I'll let the rest of you continue where I've left off.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Nature always finds a way to fill a void. I could care less about the big gaming companies, people will keep making games. You get enough programmers in a confined space, and eventually you'll get a game.

bakape said:

lurker101 said:

ansh1993 said:

Consoles are better than PC's according to me .(for playing games)

I hope you're wearing asbestos underwear, because you know you're going to end up being flamed for that one.

Personally though, I think the only real place where consoles exceed PCs in gaming superiority is in social, multiplayer games. Multiplayer on PCs tend to be network based, either via LAN or over the internet, not leaving much room for any real social interaction. Plus there's almost always an amount of initial farting around to get networks and the game itself sorted. Multiplayer though, is as simple as two guys sitting on a couch. Or a group of people on a Wii. Or whatever. Pop your disk in and play away to your hearts content while still able to make actual interactions with those you're playing with.

Take away the social aspects though and the PC will win outright every single time. Yeah, there's a myriad of "can my hardware handle this", "the installation and set up are overly longwinded/complicated/whatever), but it's almost always worth it because you know you're getting something of considerably higher quality. The level of detail in PC games can be so much higher than that of a console game, so your gaming experienced is improved that much more. You don't even have to simply accept what you're given, especially these days, either. If you think the texture set in a game sucks, or you're bored with the weapons, you can simply crack open the game folders and create your own content for it. If you're not exactly skilled at modding, chances are that somebody else feels the same way as you about the game, but is skilled and has released his or her own changes online.

I know I'm only hitting the tip of the iceberg on this subject, but I can't be bothered to type up any more on this, so I'll let the rest of you continue where I've left off.

Do not feed the troll! They're hungry for flame. >.>

Lurker101 said:

gwailo247 said:

You get enough programmers in a confined space, and eventually you'll get a game.

Either that or a porn simulator

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You get enough programmers in a confined space, and eventually you'll get a game.

I disagree, if there are too many programmers, 'competing' ideas will result in nothing substantial or good will ever come out.

Either that or a porn simulator

I am not sure how it will work, but if it can, I guess at least they'll make lots of money.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Archean said:

You get enough programmers in a confined space, and eventually you'll get a game.

I disagree, if there are too many programmers, 'competing' ideas will result in nothing substantial or good will ever come out.

I didn't mean a convention, more like a few unemployed programmers chatting over beer, and you have a game idea. Through in game marketplaces, now modders are able to sell their products. Its a new ballgame.

And that's why you get a guy with the money to whip all those nerds to work, and give them direction. =)

Archean said:

Either that or a porn simulator

I am not sure how it will work, but if it can, I guess at least they'll make lots of money.

There was a 30 Rock episode about that, lol.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

It is a healthy platform imo, especially for more casual related games having the largest user base of any device out there. I however don't feel this will lead to a huge increase in PC only related content, but maybe it'll get the attention of publishers & developers that just porting everything might not be in their best interest. Hopefully BF3 will be an overwhelming success on the PC and demonstrate that there is a demand for quality games, which I hope it will be .

yRaz said:

Although, I don't like the new EA business model of $60 PC games, where did the extra $10 come from?

In recent years I've noticed this trend too which sadly has only been increasing from multiple publishers especially the major ones like Activision/EA. Those extra $10 from my understanding are meant as a 'console tax' from Microsoft/Sony due to their subsidized hardware, but somehow has crept onto PC releases forcing us to pay more which publishers simply pocket. The only way to combat this is by not buying first day release titles unless the game is really worth it to you.

lurker101 said:

Personally though, I think the only real place where consoles exceed PCs in gaming superiority is in social, multiplayer games.

In regard to social games I would agree with you since consoles are really the only place developers go for these types of games. However for multiplayer titles in recent years I find both to be pretty equal from a social standpoint, especially since multiplayer split-screen seems to be dying off.

lipe123 said:

I don't know what EA is smoking but it's been a LOONG time since any game developer released a good multiplayer PC game. The consoles get all the spotlight because their market share is so gi-normous!

Just look at Black ops, millions of copies sold all over the place and barely 30k players on the PC network. No wonder PC games haven't had a graphics update in 5 years and every game is just a re hash of something thats already been done.

I remember when games like Black and White came out with something new and fun, nowdays all you see is mmorpg's and fps games and nothing else remotely good.

yRaz yRaz said:

I don't know what EA is smoking but it's been a LOONG time since any game developer released a good multiplayer PC game. The consoles get all the spotlight because their market share is so gi-normous!

Just look at Black ops, millions of copies sold all over the place and barely 30k players on the PC network. No wonder PC games haven't had a graphics update in 5 years and every game is just a re hash of something thats already been done.

I remember when games like Black and White came out with something new and fun, nowdays all you see is mmorpg's and fps games and nothing else remotely good.

I KNOW!!!!! WTF happened to good RTS's and racing games. I want another mech warrior game...I've also wanted a fighter pilot game but what's out there doesn't really appeal to me. HAWX 2 looks pretty sweet, but it's been out to long to justify charging and paying full price.

Inarius03 said:

Stop making "PC games" just ports of console games. Then they can talk.

Guest said:

The reason COD does bad on PC is PC gamers have higher standards of quality. Put it this way the last 4 or 5 COD's have used the same engine and same formula and that is a no no for us PC enthusiast. We want to be pushed we want to be challenged. Now if you look at Bad Company 2 it sold more on the PC platform and has more active users then any of the consols. COD = Paintball BC2 = War. Now as a PC gamer this 60$ a game is bullshit especialy considering that they are shoving DLC down our throat. What's going to happen is first day sales wont be as strong as they expected and they are going to wonder why. The answer to this question is we will play their game by not buying first day and waiting for game of the year edition with all the DLC at a reduced price. This is just common consumer sense. They have to realize that we are not ill informed human beings that they can wrap **** over our eyes and well just take it. If they want their 60$ they better not have any bugs give all the DLC for free. Look at Dragon Age 2 it's not going to do as good as the first one did. Why ? cause it's watered down version of what made the first one great and they announced DLC before the god damn game was released....I mean seriously that's pretty much saying hey we have this content made that we could of included in the original but we dont want to cause we are greedy mother $&&#& and want to milk your tit.... Social aspect I think the PC is just as good as the consols. Have you looked at Steams social aspect it's better then what PSN or X-Box live can offer as far as social connectivity and interaction and there are other alternatives gamespy/impulse/etc... PC gaming will never die cause it's always ahead of the curve of what is coming down the pipes as far as technology goes. consols are limited to usual 5 year cycles though these ones have lasted longer and in the case of the x-box 360 which is starting to show it's age. PS3 still has some wiggle room I would say has about 2 years more worth of life over the 360. Dont get me wrong I respect what the consol does but the main platform should always be PC due to it's constant evolution. If not we get these rehash products year over year due to consols not evolving or pushing the evolution of gaming.

princeton princeton said:

Guest said:

The reason COD does bad on PC is PC gamers have higher standards of quality. Put it this way the last 4 or 5 COD's have used the same engine and same formula and that is a no no for us PC enthusiast. We want to be pushed we want to be challenged. Now if you look at Bad Company 2 it sold more on the PC platform and has more active users then any of the consols. COD = Paintball BC2 = War. Now as a PC gamer this 60$ a game is bullshit especialy considering that they are shoving DLC down our throat. What's going to happen is first day sales wont be as strong as they expected and they are going to wonder why. The answer to this question is we will play their game by not buying first day and waiting for game of the year edition with all the DLC at a reduced price. This is just common consumer sense. They have to realize that we are not ill informed human beings that they can wrap **** over our eyes and well just take it. If they want their 60$ they better not have any bugs give all the DLC for free. Look at Dragon Age 2 it's not going to do as good as the first one did. Why ? cause it's watered down version of what made the first one great and they announced DLC before the god damn game was released....I mean seriously that's pretty much saying hey we have this content made that we could of included in the original but we dont want to cause we are greedy mother $&&#& and want to milk your tit.... Social aspect I think the PC is just as good as the consols. Have you looked at Steams social aspect it's better then what PSN or X-Box live can offer as far as social connectivity and interaction and there are other alternatives gamespy/impulse/etc... PC gaming will never die cause it's always ahead of the curve of what is coming down the pipes as far as technology goes. consols are limited to usual 5 year cycles though these ones have lasted longer and in the case of the x-box 360 which is starting to show it's age. PS3 still has some wiggle room I would say has about 2 years more worth of life over the 360. Dont get me wrong I respect what the consol does but the main platform should always be PC due to it's constant evolution. If not we get these rehash products year over year due to consols not evolving or pushing the evolution of gaming.

Wow buddy. I'm not even going to read that. Use paragraphs for fucks sake.

Guest said:

Lol sorry about that. Was in the heat of the moment and i'm at work.

Guest said:

"Personally though, I think the only real place where consoles exceed PCs in gaming superiority is in social, multiplayer games. Multiplayer on PCs tend to be network based, either via LAN or over the internet, not leaving much room for any real social interaction"

PC is an awesome social platform for gaming.

WOW

Eve

Just to name a couple that came to mind

Johny47 said:

I like EA Games as a developer, always have for games like Medal of Honor and Need for Speed Underground but they haven't done a great Medal of Honor in a while and Hot Pursuit is the only decent Need for Speed game in a long while, they need to bring back the Underground series and be more original with other titles.

I REALLY want another Underground game, they're so cool and nice to play. Seriously, who doesn't like customizing a car to the way YOU want it? =/

Bring it back EA.

Lurker101 said:

PC is an awesome social platform for gaming.

WOW

Eve

Just to name a couple that came to mind

You're going to give WoW as a prime example of social interaction? Do you want us to take you seriously?

Screw it, I've got a spare minute, so I'll humour you. MMOs are NOT socially interactive games. Yes, you play with a vast array of people from all over the world, but you're still all alone. You're on your own. You are not socialising. You don't know these people in real life and you probably never will.

JayT1806 said:

Of course PC platform isn't a problem, so long as you create a decent game and don't f'in RIP us off. We'll pirate your game and if you deserve the money we will support you. Thats the lingo for any honest pirates talking anywas. However, for Battlefield which is the series I like from EA.... so long as your game is multi player like the game mentioned, you have no problems with piracy. Honestly, the new "online" login requirement does make it harder for pirates to crack the game but they still do it sadly.

If its a mmorpg, then your fine. If its just single player, well your screwed with pc market unless you got some tricks up your sleave to make programmers harder for them to crack your game or it's totally badass like Starcraft 2 and has a multi-player.

ramonsterns said:

lurker101 said:

You're going to give WoW as a prime example of social interaction? Do you want us to take you seriously?

Screw it, I've got a spare minute, so I'll humour you. MMOs are NOT socially interactive games. Yes, you play with a vast array of people from all over the world, but you're still all alone. You're on your own. You are not socialising. You don't know these people in real life and you probably never will.

[link]

Here you go, regardless of what your notion of socialization is, playing and talking with other people is a form of socialization.

Guest said:

Yea try gaining back market shares when you're going around banning people on your forums and banning them access to your games when they criticized your company.

Guest said:

Potential yes.

Healthy no.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Bah just more 'we love pc gamers' rhetoric, they really don"t mean it.

Guest said:

EA's statement is pretty funny in the wake of the Crysis 2 demo debacle.

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

ramonsterns said:

EA can cram it for all I care.

They destroyed what was left of Bioware.

Yeah! And they smothered every last bit of Westwood!

-"Some people thought that ore mining was hard, some thought it was to easy. So we removed it entirelly!"

And they banned finished games from hitting the market, like CnC: Tiberium. Geez, it's like EA owns the entire market and keeps ruling it like a donkey.

example1013 said:

The only reason developers prefer consoles is because it's easier to optimize for. There's no need to worry about different graphics cards and drivers, or missing software, or any of the issues that result from a fractured PC base (including OS). You're developing for one uniform piece of hardware, and that makes it a hell of a lot easier to create a stable game.

robertwnielsen said:

I'll believe EA is serious about the PC when (if) they reinstate the Madden series, and bring the NCAA series over to the PC. Otherwise, I don't buy it.

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