FIFA 12: David Rutter on services and future business models
We speak to FIFA producer David Rutter, and discuss the notion of games as a service.
We learn about the new services coming to FIFA 12, including EA Sports Fooball Club and Support Your Club, and consider the possibility that this new focus on services will lead to a change in the FIFA business model, with it possibly moving away from yearly iterations to an ongoing live service model.
[PS3 Attitude] FIFA has EA Sports Football Club and Ultimate Team; Need for Speed has its Autolog; and Battlefield 3 will also have a huge social aspect to it – does EA consider its games to be services these days.
[David Rutter] I think so. It’s not going to be a full on service this year, as far as FIFA is concerned.
EA Sports Football Club is very much like a live service that kicks off this year, and what that means is that whilst you’re playing the game and earning experience points, you’re levelling up and you’re compairing yourself against your friends – that’s one part of it. The other part of it is Support Your Club, where you can pledge your allegience to a team in the game. So I am a Leicester City fan – [someone in the room sniggers] everyone laughs when I say that, it’s just rude – and you kind of earn your experience points for not just your team but also to Leicester City, and the average skill and dedication of Leicester City is measured and compared with the fans of every other team in the game. And then slowly and surely you’ll see these teams being promoted and relegated on the basis of the skill and dedication of their fans rather than based on the team in real life – which is nice.
The other part is the truer sense of live service, which is taking inspiration from the real world of football and putting it into the game in the form of scenarios and situations for you to earn XP, for your XP level and for your club too. Running that as a live service is something we want to do.
We’re not at a point where you won’t buy FIFA anymore, or you’ll just have an ongoing live service. We’re still some way away from that.
[PS3A] Can you see that as being the future?
[DR] I think it is a very sensible future. It’s stuff that we think about – but it’s not happening this year or anytime soon.