EA Made Tough Decisions to Put Players 1st: Wilson

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June 11 (Bloomberg) -- Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson discusses his tenure as company head on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg)

You were announced as the ceo late last year.

What would you say you have accomplished in your tenure as ceo so far?

It is a great company, and there are fantastic people who come to work every day to build video games and do really cool things.

There was a sense in the marketplace that we were not doing all we could for the player, and my idea was to reestablish a player first mentality.

As you look at some of the things we are doing, looking at some of the games we are showing you this week, i think we are making progress, and the feedback from the gaming community has been really positive.

Let's elaborate on that.

That is true.

You said, hey, game players, we are here for you.

Elaborate on how that works.

Giving it a go and getting feedback early in the process?

There aren't things that come down to what a player culture means, and the first thing is when you think about player first, the filter by which you make decisions, we have to make tough decisions about things with the player first.

We have shipped need for speed every year for 17 years.

We moved it out of here and gave it some more time.

Announcing and showing things much, much earlier.

You saw in our first briefing, we showed games that are not going to be out for three years, and it is about bringing them into the game earlier, so we announced our beta earlier than we normally would.

We brought the gamers in and said, hey, tell us what you think.

Challenge us to achieve greatness.

Something you have always been passionate about.

Are there any tieups with the world cup, anything you are getting out there to sort of get the word out about it?

There was a time when i was doing fifa games, and that was sort of the sum total.

Now, think about the world cup in korea, and in china, a world cup element.

The xbox one.

They have got world cup content coming through.

We have seen the buzz built.

And then the xbox three and playstation three.

We have really tried to harness the enthusiasm out of the world cup this year.

Across the world, and across platforms, they can have fun with it.

Let's switch to star wars.

Obviously, disney is hard at work on the next star wars film.

It has been made very clear that what you guys are doing in terms of developing games doesn't have to mix with the same storylines for the movies we are seeing in theaters, and yet, i believe the timing of the battlefront release is relatively early next year, and that is the year of the star wars film.

What should we be thinking about your strategy?

The star wars universe is an amazing universe.

Many of us grew up with this world, this universe, these characters, and what we really want to do is use the interactive entertainment medium to give people a new way to immerse themselves in a way they would not have been able to do before.

Again, it is true to the star wars universe, true to the star wars fiction.

It gives the player a chance to interact with it in a very, very different way.

Of course, trying to bring the movie in, the concept, but our take is not just to give you a movie game.

Ours is to give you a way to step into the star wars universe.

I do get a sense from some of your past comments that you feel like now more than ever that hollywood model of bedding on the biggest franchises, because what defines a hit today is different than what it used to be in terms of the number of games sold, that that is an important strategy for you as ceo.


I want to move us away from the straight hit.

I want to move us into the live services.

If they like star wars, i do not want them to come in and play a star wars game.

I want them to come in and be part of a universe, and experience, six months, eight months.

We are seeing that with fifa and battlefield, and we are seeing people playing for five years.

Our idea is not to give you these small experiences but to give you an experience you play across platforms from the moment you get up in the morning until you go to bed at night, and one that you share with your friends, and one that you enjoy for many, many months.

With oculus, that is something you have said ea is exploring.

Can you elaborate on that?

What are some of the things you are playing around with?

Some of these partners, the guys at oculus or some things that are coming in behind the scenes that i will not announce today, but i do believe that the content is truly getting into the experience.

It has to be something that gamers once.

I thought total recall as a kid.

You go to a different place.

That is what we do.

We deliver that fiction, that fantasy for players, and i think virtual reality plays an important part of that.

There is a company prototyping that right now.

Ok, how to be truly deliver something that actually adds that entertaining and inspiring and creative experience?

Thank you.


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