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EA: Games industry could 'absolutely' go subscription-based

Could On Live-like services take over retail in future?

There could come a time on the not-so-distant future when all your games are piped to you over the internet via subscription-based services.

That's according to EA Sports label VP Andrew Wilson, who sees a possible future in which the games industry goes entirely digital.

"If we look at what consumers have pushed other industries for: if we look at what consumers forced the music industry to provide, if we look at what consumers have driven as a result of television and movie subscription, if you look at us - there's absolutely a time somewhere at some point in the future where the consumers say, 'Hey, this is how we want to interact with you: we want to give you a monthly or annual subscription and we want access to everything you make'," said Wilson.

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"They get to drive the time and place for it, and a lot of it is technology dependent, but absolutely we can see a future where that might be the way we deliver games," he added.

With regards to the technological boundaries for such a future, Wilson said it's not the consoles that are restrictive but the global internet infrastructure that can't yet come with huge games being served digitally. "It's less about the generation and more about internet infrastructure," he said.

"The thing about consoles [is] that's a lot of content: six, seven gigs of information. Right now there are some places in the world where you can move that size of information around relatively seamlessly; there are a lot of places you can't," he went on.

"Right now the consoles themselves could facilitate it, but there are other barriers to entry that make getting it from Game or GameStop a viable proposition, at least today."

Sony has already taken a step in this direction with its PlayStation Plus subscription service which allows gamers access to vast amounts of content for a fixed monthly fee.

EA Sports president Peter Moore recently hinted that EA Sports games may soon integrate persistent player profiles that allow users to carry save progress over from one game to another.

[ SOURCE: Eurogamer ]

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