EA to cut boxed game releases 40 pct, refocus on digital and mobile

Electronic Arts is making big changes to its business. The game publisher will release 40 percent fewer traditional games next year. To fill the gap, it plans to invest heavily in Internet-based games and mobile. Lagging boxed game sales and the massive success of social game companies like Zynga, which built its business around Facebook, contributed to the change in direction.

EA plans to release about 35 traditional games this year, down from about 50 in 2009, and that number will drop again, CEO John Riccitiello told Reuters. “I don’t think it goes to 10 or 15 or even less than 20, but there’s some number probably between the low 20s and the high 20s that’s right,” he said.

star-wars-the-old-republic-screenshot

Though 75 percent of EA’s revenue comes from boxed game sales, the company hopes to build a business out of online subscriptions and microtransactions. The company plans to release Star Wars: The Old Republic next year, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that will cost $10-$15 a month to play and compete directly with Activision Blizzard’s World of Warcraft. Sales of EA’s downloadable and mobile content rose 30 percent to $570 million last year and should rise another 30 percent by March 2011, when the company’s current fiscal year ends.

However, Zynga is the gorilla in the room. In October, Bloomberg reported that the FarmVille and Mafia Wars publisher was worth $5.51 billion–more than EA, which has been a dominant game publisher for more than 20 years. To compete, EA is doing what it does best: spending and buying. The company will spend about $1 billion in R&D this year, and half that money will go toward digital games. In the last year, the publisher has also purchased Playfish, a social game developer, for $400 million, and Chillingo, a European casual games publisher, for $20 million. In addition, a free version of Battlefield is coming to PCs.

Do you think EA has what it takes to compete in the social, casual game space? Should they be investing in it so heavily?

Gaming

From PUBG to Apex Legends, this is how battle royale happened

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in Twitch streaming and eSports.
Gaming

A new hope is lost as Disney dismisses rumors of a revival of Lucasfilm Games

According to job listings on the Disney website, the company has plans to revive Lucasfilm Games. This comes as a surprise following the shuttering of LucasArts in 2013 and could potentially mean more Star Wars games.
Gaming

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.
Gaming

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Gaming

How to sync and troubleshoot your PS4's DualShock 4 controllers

Sony's Bluetooth-enabled DualShock 4 controllers for PlayStation 4 are some of the best on the market, but connection issues aren't unheard of. Here's how to sync them to your console.
Gaming

The Division 2 is another loot shooter with a dull story. Does it matter?

The Division 2 has a story to tell. It's not a good story. It's not told very well. But by-golly, The Division 2 is going to make you sit your ass down and listen whether you want to or not.
Product Review

The Division 2 brings the most fun we've ever had to Washington, D.C.

After 55 hours with The Division 2, it’s clear that Ubisoft has improved on the original in almost every way. The world is richly detailed, the story missions are wonderful, gunplay and enemy design are great, and the endgame content is…
Gaming

Last gen had some hits! Take a look at the best PS3 games of all time

Choosing the right PlayStation 3 game can be a conundrum, especially when there are nearly 1,500 titles to choose from. Thankfully, we've rounded up the best games to have ever made it to the platform.
Computing

Oculus shows off the Rift S, plans to phase out its original VR headset

Oculus plans to phase out its flagship Rift VR headset for its newly created Rift S. The Rift S made its debut this week at the 2019 Game Developers Conference and is expected to be released in spring 2019.
Deals

Hook up your Nintendo Switch with these deals on accessories right now on Amazon

The Nintendo Switch is a portable system with tons of accessories. The problem is, hooking it up doesn't come cheap. Every week, we look for the best deals on Nintendo Switch accessories on Amazon so you don't have to.
Gaming

Epic Games is offering $100 million to game developers with no catch

Epic Games launched a new grant program called Epic MegaGrants. The program will dish out $100 million in funds to developers working in the 3D graphics community, even if they don't use Unreal Engine.
Gaming

The best PUBG weapons to win you that coveted chicken dinner

Which weapons in PUBG are worth the time to scout out and fit with attachments? Which are going to help you become the last player standing? We've got the answers you need in our best PUBG weapons guide.
Gaming

Here's what we know about the Dark Souls developer's next game

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the latest game from Dark Souls and Bloodborne developer From Software. Here is everything we know about the new game, including its setting and combat changes.
Gaming

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.