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Core gamers uncomfortable with change, says Peter Moore

EA COO says players should be more willing to embrace different models

"Core" gamers are uncomfortable with change and don't like embracing new business models, according to EA's Peter Moore.

The publisher's COO told GamesIndustry that EA is excited about the future health of the industry, but conceded that some traditional gamers will take longer to convince that new innovations will be beneficial.

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"I think we're going into almost a golden age of gaming, where it doesn't matter where you are, at any time, any place, any price point, any amount of time, there's a game available to you," Moore said.

"And our job as a company is to provide those game experiences. And then on our big franchises, tie them all together.

"I think the challenge sometimes is that the growth of gaming... there's a core that doesn't quite feel comfortable with that. Your readers, the industry in particular. I don't get frustrated, but I scratch my head at times and say, 'Look. These are different times.'

"And different times usually evoke different business models. Different consumers come in. They've got different expectations. And we can either ignore them or embrace them, and at EA, we've chosen to embrace them."

Moore cited the advent of MP3s as an example of the danger the games industry could face if it doesn't adapt its content delivery policies.

"We as an industry have to embrace change," he explained. "We can't be music. We cannot be music.

"Because music said, 'Screw you. You're going to buy a CD for $16.99, and we're going to put 14 songs on there, two of which you care about, but you're going to buy our CD.' Then Shawn Fanning writes a line of code or two, Napster happens, and the consumers take control.

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"Creating music to sell is no longer a profitable concern. The business model has changed to concerts, corporate concerts, merchandise, things of that nature. Actually selling music is not a way of making money any more, except for a core group."

One of the most notable concerns some gamers have is with the free-to-play model being adapted by many publishers and developers. "I think the core audience that dislikes the fact that there are play-for-free games and microtransactions built into those... fine, I get that," Moore said.

"As you know, I read all the stuff, and it is the most intelligent commentary on the web as regards games. There's no doubt about that. But every now and again, and you've seen me do it, somebody will come in there and say something stupid that I think is beneath the site itself and beneath the industry."

"I don't think anybody has to like it," Moore said. "I think that's where it goes. It's like me: I get grumpy about some things, but if the river of progress is flowing and I'm trying to paddle my canoe in the opposite direction, then eventually I'm just going to lose out. From the perspective of what needs to happen in this industry, we need to embrace the fact that billions of people are playing games now."

Last year, Moore denied that EA lobbied for "gating functions" on used games, insisting that he in fact supports the pre-owned games industry.

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