EA’s most recent earnings call revealed that EA, a publisher who makes a lot of money and likes making money (as it should), thinks that Fortnite, a game that recently made $1 billion in microtransactions, is good for the industry as a whole.
As GameSpot recently pointed out, EA CEO Andrew Wilson praised Fortnite for introducing more people to gaming and creating a larger potential consumer-base for game-makers everywhere.
“So what we have seen is that Fortnite continues to, what we believe, expand the audience,” Wilson said. “And so our expectation is that as they continue to expand the audience, that provides tremendous opportunity for us going into the holiday season, particularly as we think about launching Madden and FIFA and Battlefield into what is a growing player audience.”
That’s a pretty generous analysis of how Fortnite is directly affecting EA’s business, and CFO Blake Jorgensen was quick to point out that Epic Games’ free-to-play battle royale “phenomenon” is “taking up people’s time across the industry” before following Wilson’s line that Fortnite‘s success “means more and more people are brought in to play games and will enjoy games in the future, in particular, first-person shooter games down the road.”
In that same earnings call, EA related that it’s interested in creating its own standalone battle royale shooter akin to Fortnite, in addition to Battlefield V‘s previously announced battle royale mode.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that EA, a publisher that’s long-favored live service revenue models like its various Ultimate Team efforts, would think that a free-to-play game that’s “perfected” the live service model is great for the industry. But it isn’t so great for fans of straightforward single-player titles who were looking forward to games like, I don’t know, Visceral Games’ cancelled Star Wars game. Hopefully Respawn’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order can restore some balance to the force, especially because there are still single-player games like God of War and Octopath Traveler that are bringing home the bacon for their publishers.