Yes, that is a bit of a drastic headline, but that’s the way Peter Moore sees things going.
In an interview with Kotaku, Moore has laid out his predictions for the future.
“Ultimately, my goal is, I measure our business in millions of people have bought our game”, Moore continues, “Maybe when I’m retired, as this industry progresses, hundreds of millions are playing the games. Zero bought it. Hundreds of millions are playing. We’re getting 5 cents, 6 cents ARPU (average revenue per user) a day out of these people.”
“I think there’s an inevitability that happens five years from now, 10 years from now, that, let’s call it the client, to use the term, [is free.]”
So how would that affect FIFA? Imagine a situation where the core of the game was a download that you then customized with the leagues and teams that you want. Could the EASFC Catalogue be the start of a migration towards that kind of system? For now we’ll be spending XP, but it’s not hard to see real world currency being brought in at some point, especially for people who want items but don’t have the right level/XP. Battlefield has been doing paid shortcuts for a while now.
It would then be possible to ditch the yearly release cycle too. At the start of the season a new kit pack could be brought out for teams and/or leagues, if you’re happy to stick with the old kits then you don’t need to upgrade and Roster updates are already rolled out as and when needed. Stadiums, sound packs, commentary packs and dare I say it, boot packs could all be bundled on a market place to allow people to properly customize the FIFA experience they want. Last year was the first time we really saw micro-transactions in FIFA (aside from FUT, but they aren’t really necessary) with the Creation Centre add-ons, It would definitely be interesting to see how those did.
Losing the yearly cycle could have many positive impacts. Gameplay changes could be rolled out on a “when they’re ready” basis and making smaller, more frequent updates to the game should also allow a more positive approach to bug fixes as there would be more opportunities to get them into the game. With developers under less pressure to hit strict deadlines for each yearly release we could expect to see an improvement in the quality of features when they’re first released rather than the “it’s not quite finished but the disks need printing” situation we sometimes see now. Could Career Mode, FUT and Online play become separate add-ons that you pay for access to and if they did, how would it affect the development of those features? The biggest question of course is how would this change things for people who don’t have their console online? Would FIFA be dead for them?
Lot’s of questions raised, definitely something we’ll need to cover on a podcast, Feel free to add to them in the comments.