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EA actually likes single-player games now, go figure

Everyone can have a change of heart as times change. I mean, look at Demi Lovato, a they/them who got in touch with their feminine side again and now accepts the she/her pronouns again. The same goes for EA, once the messenger of single-player extinction. Because whaddayaknow… EA now believes that single-player games are actually really, really important. Go figure.

Indeed, the same EA that once believed that single-player games would eventually become obsolete has made a full 180. When asked how single-player games fit in the portfolio of EA nowadays, CEO Andrew Wilson actually expressed plenty of appreciation for them. I know, I know… it sounds bonkers. Andrew Wilson, of all people. But really, he had a whole speech ready for the inquiring folks at the earnings call last Tuesday (via VGC).

“Our players, on balance, they have these core motivations—inspiration, escape, social connection, competition, self-improvement, creation—these things that bring us together as players of games.

“And the creation of worlds, the building of characters, and the telling of stories is really important in the fulfillment of some of those motivations.

“When we think about our portfolio and we think about building it out, we really think about it on two key vectors. One, how can we tell incredible stories? And two, how can we build tremendous online communities? And then how do we bring those two things together?

“So, when you look at our portfolio, what you should be looking for is, how are we doing that? How are we building these worlds and telling these stories? How are we developing global online communities? And how are we bringing those two things together for the fulfillment of motivations?

“What we see when we get that is, one, we grow our network, and two, we grow the amount of time that players in our network spend in and around our games.

“And as we think about single-player games, we think it’s a really, really important part of the overall portfolio that we deliver in the fulfillment of those core motivations.

“The way we plan for it over time is really just looking at our community, and looking at how they’re spending their time, and looking at where motivations may or may not be fulfilled. And we’ll look to supplement that with the addition of new online games, new multiplayer games, and new single-player games.”

Great stuff, Andrew. And a big thanks to Respawn for making EA see the value of single-player experiences. Because if it weren’t for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – just to name one of EA’s single-player powerhouses – the publisher still might not have been that enthusiastic. Because honestly, live services are still good for three-quarters of EA’s total business, according to CFO Chris Suh.

“If we think about the model impact and the financial impact of it, I think the first thing to always keep in mind is that live services still encompass, on a trailing 12-month basis, over 70% of our business, and that has been a proven, very reliable, highly reoccurring revenue stream, and that will still be the predominant driver in our P&L [profit and loss] long-term,.

“Second, we’ve talked a lot about the areas of investment that we’re making, and that’s both in the live service as well as some of the single[-player] title launches that you’ve seen.

“And so over the course of time we’ll continue to invest, our long-term growth will continue to invest in the ongoing, stable performance of our live services business and there’ll be some puts and takes along the way.”

Yeah, yeah… who cares? Not me. I’m just glad that single-player games seem to have a future at EA again. I mean, Dead Space, Jedi: Survivor… even a Black Panther game is supposedly in the works at EA. So hey, I ain’t complaining.