EA 'getting better at listening' to players, CEO says

Consumers want choice, EA Access offers it, according to Andrew Wilson

EA Access gives Electronic Arts a better way to listen to what its customers want, CEO Andrew Wilson says - and what they want is more options.

It's part of shifting priorities within the company to try and put the "player first" once again, Wilson told GamesIndustry International.

Andrew Wilson

"One of the things that we're learning as we make the digital transformation is that we don't need to guess what players want any more," Wilson said. "For the longest time we had to guess, and the first opportunity to find out whether you got it right or not was when you saw the game on the shelf.

"Now, we're getting better at listening. We haven't always been great listeners, but we're getting better, and what that's telling us is that people want choice. They want to be able to choose what's right for them at a given moment in time. There isn't a one-size-fits-all any longer. We've got to build a core platform, game engines and games that facilitate that."

Rather than pushing retail sales, digital purchases, or subscriptions like EA Access, Wilson says he's learned in the last few years that no solution will fit everyone.

"We believed when we launched [EA Access] that it was great value, and gamers, for the most part, have fed back that it's great value. We're going to continue to put things into that service that make it even better value. It will evolve and go through lots of permutations over time as we listen and learn from players who engage with it. My hope is that we can deliver that kind of service to many millions of players for years to come."

EA chief operating officer Peter Moore told CVG this month that the service's growing selection of free games, called 'The Vault', will be "permanent" and "substantial".