The future of gaming, according to EA’s bosses

the future of gaming

The future of gaming will involve AI-augmented development and “content as a platform,” EA’s bosses have said in a recent earnings call.


What will triple-A games look like over the next few years or so? EA certainly appears to have a strategy in place, at least if a recent conference call among the publishing giant’s top brass is anything to go by.

In it, CEO Andrew Wilson said that EA is “focused on blockbuster storytelling,” and cited the success of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, released just a couple of weeks ago, as an example. Not long after, however, he added that “Games are the social networks of the future,” and began talking about a “movement to these broader ecosystems that are games as platforms.”

“Our strategy is to help players make new friends, build their social network and create community,” Wilson said, according to a transcript posted by Seeking Alpha (thanks, “These in-game social experiences were rolled out in FIFA 23.”

Wilson went on to say that “interactive entertainment is at an inflection point” where audiences are growing and demanding more content at a faster rate. The response to that demand, from Wilson’s perspective, is to consider “games as platforms,” and includes such properties as The Sims, Battlefield and Apex as candidates for the games-as-service approach.

Of course, live service games like Apex Legends require regular updates over time, which in turn require considerable time and financial investment. “Where we once built games in one or two years and then monetised them over five weeks or five months, now games as a platform are taking longer, but the benefits are exponentially greater,” said Wilson.

One way of meeting that demand for regular content updates, Wilson later suggested, was by using AI to augment game development. “As an industry, we’re probably going to be one of the greatest beneficiaries of AI,” he said. “I think that it will allow us to do what we currently do more efficiently. It will allow us to actually do more things as we think about being creators, our ability to use AI to augment our incredible teams and create even more entertainment for an audience that has an insatiable appetite for what we’re doing.”

Laura Miele, EA’s chief operating officer, then added a bit more detail on how exactly EA could “augment” game development. “We’re thinking about the advantage of this next wave of technology as the accelerator in game development,” Miele said. “So in game development, you would imagine the velocity of content, creative iteration is going to be advantaged greatly by having really smart content tools… As we think about live game support at scale, there’s going to be some really great imagery detection, issue detection, economic modelling that we’re going to be able to apply as we continue to grow these connected ecosystem. So we are pretty optimistic and excited and inspired about this new wave of AI.”

Cutting through the corporate waffle, then, and a strategy becomes somewhat clear: although EA will still invest in self-contained experiences like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, its greater focus will be on games-as-platform experiences like Apex Legends and FIFA, perhaps with developers using AI tools to help them keep up with the ferocious amount of content such games would need.

Yay, we guess?

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