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EA will shape franchises around 4 concepts: play, create, watch, connect

Electronic Arts applies a new four-part concept model to its biggest franchises, focused on embedding games as new social networks.

EA will shape franchises around 4 concepts: play, create, watch, connect 776 |  TweakTown.com


EA CEO Andrew Wilson has a vision: Games will eventually be used as the new social network, bringing gamers, communities and families together using online frameworks and interactivity models. The plan is (and was) made possible by EA’s emphasis on four main pillars: Watch, Play, Create and Connect. Each of these aspects will find their way into all of EA’s top-performing IPs and franchises, including Battlefield, Apex Legends, FIFA, Madden, and The Sims.

“What I think we’re going to see more of is the creation. The Sims has been built on creation since its release in 2001, and we’ve seen hours of creation in our Battlefield franchise with all those Battlefield moments, and we’ve seen FIFA expand with team creation and collection and Ultimate Team. We will do more of this. We’re going to open that up and offer a more interactive component, and part of what you’re seeing with us in Skate is that we’re being able to build this entire global universe with skateboarding as a cultural catalyst – skateboarding leans towards it Fashion and music and building and brand, we think the franchise can do that too.

“You will see that we invest more in creation.”

Below we have a transcription of what Wilson said during Goldman Sach’s recent Communacopia & Technology 2022 conference:

We have seen many turning points in this industry. We went from single player to multiplayer. We switched from SD to HD. We went from sold units to committed units. These trends changed the way games were developed and played. We are now at one of those turning points again. We have seen the definition of games expand to four key vectors.

To play

The first is a very central vector, namely the game, this notion of interactivity. What we’re seeing now is that players are expanding their game context. So what happens in our football franchises when you’re not kicking the ball? What happens when you leave the stadium? What happens when you get out of the car in Need for Speed? What happens when you put down your gun and explore in Apex Legends? What happens when you’re in the Sims and you leave your home and go to someone else’s home? This expansion of the way I play and what I can do in the world.


The second question, of course, is when you start doing other things outside the world, how can I create something in this world? In the short term, the creation simply moves around in the world, making it a more personal experience. In the medium term we see the creation of new assets that we put into the worlds we create to create whole new worlds. We see people moving between those two things, and this notion of creation represents an extraordinary new element in our industry. If you look at it, on average 20% of our players are creators, about 10% of our players create content that our community uses to create, but over 50% of players engage in created content.

This represents an extraordinary new opportunity for us and you will see us doing more and more and more.


The third vector is of course the clock. If you look at Apex Legends, we played about 3 billion hours of Apex last year. We had watched almost 2 billion hours.

If we look at our FIFA franchise, we’ve had over 4 billion hours played and well over 2 billion hours watched. So the watch component becomes a very big part of our work. Watch is not only in the context of the game itself, but also in the context of content surrounding the game – you’ll see that we’ve started bringing real-world football content to the platform that we have at EA Sports FC about playing, creating, watching and connecting.


The fourth vector is social connection. Games are the new social networks, but in a very different way than a traditional social network. Games allow you to connect with the most important people in your life. As we think about the future of connection, there’s potential to build global communities around our content, as we play it, watch it and create it, but connection is also about how we immerse those global communities, how we connect with people produce that are special to us

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