EA CEO says player-created creations will be lucrative for EA

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Gaming giant Electronic Arts, creator of Madden and Apex Legends, envisions a future in which player-created virtual worlds are more central to its profits.

Why is this important: Video gamers, already the most active audience in entertainment, are increasingly called upon to play a role in the creation of what they play.

Driving the news: EA CEO Andrew Wilson told a Goldman Sachs conference Tuesday night that gamers’ zeal to create will change his business as what gamers do becomes more complex.

  • Over a 5 to 10 year horizon, what we expect to see, and we have started to see today, is that there will be the creation of new worlds that will fit right next to the worlds that we create,” he said.
  • “And people will move frictionlessly between those two things.”

Between the lines: For EA, the creation of more content, by developers or players, should increase playtime.

  • The increased playtime should then increase EA’s revenue. Indeed, the company’s games, like many in the industry, are designed to provide players with more in-game content to purchase for weeks and months after release.
  • “Minutes committed and money spent correlate on an almost 1:1 basis,” Wilson said. “So whether we create the content or our community creates the content, as long as it’s high-quality, as long as it’s engaging, that presents an amazing opportunity for us.”
  • About 20% of EA’s gamers already create content for its games and 50% of the gamer base uses player-created content, Wilson estimates.

The big picture: Gamers’ appetite for creation turned Minecraft into a cultural phenomenon over a decade ago and is now integral to the success of Roblox, where most experiences are built by regular users.

  • But most games aren’t created with building as the primary thing players can do.
  • The authoring tools of many modern games tend to allow players to change the look of certain parts of what they’re playing, such as creating alternate uniforms in a sports game or custom paint jobs in a sports game. race.
  • Wilson predicts more complex player creations that are closer to professional work.

The bottom line: The line between game creators and gamers is becoming increasingly blurred.

  • As it is, it won’t just be the big game studios that expect to make money from player creations.
  • EA’s own Sims series has long had a strong community of modders – people who create alternative items and systems for games – but EA limits how those fans can make money from it.

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