Head of EA Sports, Andrew Wilson, Talks New Business Models, Preventing Developer Fatigue & Server Closures
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EA Sports' new head honcho, Andrew Wilson, recently stepped into big shoes and a mighty huge shadow that a certain ex-President left behind. Filling the role that the now-Chief Operating Officer of EA, Peter Moore, left behind, Wilson has his work cut out for him if he's to prove that he can continue the impressive turnaround that Moore spearheaded over recent years.

Opting to make the European Championship football game as DLC for FIFA 12 is a bold but welcomed move by fans and is one of the first big gambles that EA Sports have taken under his leadership. If this forward thinking is a sign of things to come, surely EA Sports' golden reign is set to continue.

In the first part of this two-part interview, we talk with Wilson about the decision to make the Euros add-on as DLC, whether he thinks the yearly iteration model is a viable business model in the long-term, how they prevent developers from burning out, online passes and server closure, and much more. Much, much more!

It's a must watch interview if ever there was one, so what 'cha waiting for? Get watching.

Tune in next week as we talk Tiger Woods' recent struggles, the return of NBA Live, the UFC license, whether EA are exploring any more sports and what the future holds for the king of licenses. It's another beauty!


User Comments

Forum Posts: 2200
Comment #1 by cheevo360
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 09:25:28 PM
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Well it is happened if release too much sports every years, EA!! :):)

Almost people pick FIFA and Madden NFL series way more then any other sport titles.

Forum Posts: 1635
Comment #2 by HugTheBear
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 09:34:44 PM
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An EA sports article that doesn't have to do with servers being shut down? Shocking!

Forum Posts: 566
Comment #3 by KuShNsTieN
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 09:36:55 PM
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they need to fix the football games

Forum Posts: 175
Comment #4 by Yourburntstar
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 09:41:09 PM
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@ #1 you are defineately wrong.

NHL is a highly anticipated game each year there is a new one.

and i hope they really Fix NHL 13 so there is no more BS Glitch goals in EASHL.


Forum Posts: 29
Comment #5 by astonwave
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 09:45:53 PM
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They need to fix their servers before they fix any games.

Forum Posts: 2200
Comment #6 by cheevo360
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 10:06:47 PM
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#4 I understand but I mean selling that people get FIFA and Madden more then other sport titles every years that what I mean anyway yah I knew NHL is good game. :):)

Forum Posts: 2200
Comment #7 by cheevo360
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 10:11:45 PM
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But remember EA release too much sport titles every years and hard that people decide which they want play more so they go FIFA and Madden more. Also I think EA should release less sport titles every years in my opinion. :)

Forum Posts: 92
Comment #8 by TheOriginal561
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 11:05:10 PM
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MVP 2013 NOW!!!!

Forum Posts: 421
Comment #9 by BLQQDCQRE
Friday, May 04, 2012 @ 11:23:59 PM
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I have a dream, that one day, EA will hand over their servers to Microsoft and we can play old games like Tiger Woods 06 and other titles that are dead online. Dead, because EA killed their own creations. I'm tired of looking for the next group of EA games that are doing to die. Microsoft needs to unleash a new rule to stop EA from closing their severs down. Or EA should make their games for they DO NOT HAVE ONLINE ACHIEVEMENTS! I have a dream!

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #10 by AkhenatenReborn
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 02:14:52 AM
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I feel sorry for EA, people give them a lot of abuse for the closing of servers and generally monopolising the market, but they have an incredibly hard job and they try their best. On the note of shutting down servers, if you're trying to play Tiger Woods 06 for the achievements and not for the actual enjoyment of the game, then maybe you should redirect your criticism to yourself lol. Then again, I'd prefer if there wasn't online achievements anyway.

Forum Posts: 68
Comment #11 by Auston53
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 02:48:40 AM
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Play the game when it's out so you don't have to complain about your mistake later.

Forum Posts: 17
Comment #12 by Mr Chr15topher
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 03:53:59 AM
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EA are just money grabbing b*stards. Hopefully this new guy will be able to change that.

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #13 by PickVanCleef
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 04:24:28 AM
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People really need to get a life and stop hating on EA. They're a company. They have to make money. I have no problem with the server closure of old games or the online pass system, so long as the quality of their new games is good...and what do I currently play most? BF3, SSX, Mass Effect 3 and FIFA 12. All EA games. Keep up the good work.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #14 by Elkoorps
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 05:45:21 AM
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While I am a big basketball fan, and that all competition in the market is good as it encourages companies to create better products, I simply cannot see the point, unless a huge improvement has been made, in bringing back the NBA Live series as the NBA 2K series is honestly the best series of sports games I have ever played, and most basketball fans will probably buy 2K13 because of the fact they have always been better than NBA Live. Props to EA for trying to improve it though, but I just can't see them taking away the Bball market like myself from 2k.

Forum Posts: 63
Comment #15 by DonkeyBong71
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 08:00:09 AM
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i don't have to watch this interview to know what's wrong with EA. just look at the guy. looks more like a politician than a gamer.

Forum Posts: 307
Comment #16 by AgentOrange330
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 09:58:55 AM
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From a business point of view why would EA keep the cost of servers running simply because someone may occasionally throw in a game thats 6 years old? I can't imagine the Tiger Woods '06 server has alot of activity. While I agree online achievements are troublesome this industry still has to make money. It just doesn't make any business sense to continue incurring costs on something that is getting very little use...

Forum Posts: 869
Comment #17 by eiVaL
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 10:17:14 AM
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they cant make money by letting you keep playing the older games.

nobody who bitches about server shutdowns would spend $60 to keep playing last years game online.

they could easily allow P2P connections but then they wouldnt have control.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #18 by Dodgyknees
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 10:19:53 AM
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It would be great if you could make these videos iPad/iPhone friendly. Another one I can't watch until I fire up my PC :-(

Forum Posts: 598
Comment #19 by reaper527
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 10:41:00 AM
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its not all about achievements. ea is is closing their free servers and opening up pay servers (which they will then in turn close and force you to buy a new game if you still want to play online).

if launch titles (from 2005) such as quake and perfect dark still have their servers running, there is no excuse for ea to discontinue online support for titles from 2010 and 2011.

Forum Posts: 598
Comment #20 by reaper527
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 10:48:43 AM
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no, actually he is right.

fifa, roughly 3.5 million sales

madden, roughly 2.5 million sales

nhl, roughly half a million sales

fifa and madden do vastly outsell can say what you want about how devout nhl fans are, but #1 was correct that more people choose fifa and madden

Forum Posts: 14
Comment #21 by Ev3rything I Am
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 10:50:40 AM
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That would be great if server closures could be prevented.

Forum Posts: 47
Comment #22 by darthchimp182
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 12:55:49 PM
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@10 - in all fairness, this is a website built around unlocking achievements, so can see where the post you commented on was coming from, but on the flip side, you are right about playing for enjoyment too, maybe people enjoy unlocking achievements?

either way, i'm not a fan of how EA have run things, closing servers of games people have paid good money for, maybe they should patch these games to let individuals host from their own homes ( i dunno if thats possible tbh, just an idea) or maybe just tone down server space dedicated to older games? and the online pass, thats even more of a joke looking down the line, people pay £40 for a game, £10 for a pass to unlock online, then they'll close the servers down at some point, probabally in the not so distant future

time will tell, either way, my opinion is that something has to change in the favour of the consumer for a change,

Forum Posts: 609
Comment #23 by SevenJesterHats
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 01:06:34 PM
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whats that??... EA likes to eat poop?



Forum Posts: 523
Comment #24 by Arenazombie
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 03:06:02 PM
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Bring on "Crack Baby Basketball"

Forum Posts: 425
Comment #25 by Colby
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 04:17:17 PM
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The day that i stop hating EA is the day Army of Two gets online servers back

Forum Posts: 152
Comment #26 by Russman
Saturday, May 05, 2012 @ 08:32:03 PM
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good interview. It didn't sound like he was pandering too much to the shareholders of EA, but again it didn't sound like he was saying what was really on his mind without having his balls in a vice later on or having PR backtrack.

Forum Posts: 1615
Comment #29 by Nitnoid
Sunday, May 06, 2012 @ 02:57:10 AM
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@9 - Yeah, turn the servers over to M$. Good idea. Then you'll be paying $60/yr to play on their servers. EA discontinues server support whenever a games' online population falls below a certain threshold. Do I like it? Not really. But I understand their reasons and live with it.

@18 - You need to get Apple to support Flash.

Forum Posts: 44
Comment #30 by Solomon Fuere
Sunday, May 06, 2012 @ 03:03:03 AM
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EA needs to shut the fuck down already.

Forum Posts: 164
Comment #31 by brownstar ninja
Sunday, May 06, 2012 @ 03:57:50 AM
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I get why EA does it, but they don't have to rape us while they do it, don't charge $10 for an online pass, if they are just gonna close it down in a year, who cares if it's bought second hand, it needs to travel fast so achievement "getters" can get what they deserve before it is taken away from them....whatever i don't buy EA games new, since they quit out of NBA (thank god). I hate online achieves anyways, so good on ya EA keep screwing the people who keep on letting ya i guess.

Forum Posts: 210
Comment #32 by Sanchezz4387
Sunday, May 06, 2012 @ 06:45:38 AM
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Simple fact of life, If people keep supporting this company then they deserve all they get. I personally will never buy a new EA game again since FIFA 11. The fact that their games get a trade in of less than £3 after 12 months and servers shut down within 2 years of release they don't deserve my money. That in itself shows the game isn't built for quality but merely to take in in deserved profit. I dont mind companies making money but I won't tolerate shit quality and EA do not provide quality for money.

Forum Posts: 421
Comment #33 by BLQQDCQRE
Sunday, May 06, 2012 @ 09:14:00 AM
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@29 I'm paying 60$ a year to play any game online no matter matter what, correct? EA related or not. What is your point? I'm still paying 60$ no matter what, correct? I should be able to pop in Tiger Woods 06 and still play a 360 game online no matter how old it is because I PAID FOR IT, What is worse? Looking around at gamestop *(or whatever game store) find a EA game you are not aware the servers are closed ( AND THE PEOPLE AT THE TOP COUNTER WHO ARE SUPPOSE TO BE A GAME EXPTERT, IN MY OPINION, THAT'S WHY THEY HAVE THE JOB, ---THEY DON'T EVEN WARN YOU GAMES SERVERS ARE OFFLINE--- YOU GET HOME TO YELL " WHAT THE FUCK" and so do tons and tons of people. I'm paying 60$ a month and BUYING a EA GAME ( WITH SERVER SHUTDOWN ) at the same time, just to get butt-fucked by the corperation of EA!!! EA, YOU CAN SUCK MY JUNK, LICK IT DRY, AND SUCK IT SOME MORE, YOUR SERVERS PISS ME OFF, AND ALMOST EVERY GAMER ON THE xbox 360! I HOPE ONE DAY, EA IS NO LONGER WITH US! EA, YOU BUNCH OF FAG BAGS! I'm DRUNK AND RAGING!!! SO WHAT!!!

Forum Posts: 108
Comment #34 by Slayinfool
Sunday, May 06, 2012 @ 11:04:28 AM
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Forum Posts: 84
Comment #35 by Bickle
Sunday, May 06, 2012 @ 01:33:56 PM
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How about asking them to fill the niche that's missing in sports games:

A baseball game that's actually fun to play. They seem to have vanished during the PlayStation 1 era, replaced by bullshit that requires a thousand button presses and exactness to play. Bring back Greatest Nine/RBI Baseball, and all those other "arcade" style games

Forum Posts: 869
Comment #36 by eiVaL
Sunday, May 06, 2012 @ 03:46:21 PM
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ive stopped playing EA sports games since 2010 when they first introduced the EA Pass.

the same goes for every other game that does it, Battlefield, Dirt, pretty much all EA games, Mass Effect 3...which i could careless cause i played that for the campaign.

not to mention their roster updates are bullshit, they dont even try to rate the players properly, instead they rate them based on a FPS standard so its balanced, they even admitted to doing this a few years ago in a behind-the-scenes dvd for one of the Madden anniversary releases

"this guys really fast so we make his carry rating lower so he fumbles more(even tho the guy has never fumbled in his career yet)"

and they still dont update it after each week of games...a month goes by an ppl who were injured for the year or traded are still not correct in the game, i remember in Madden 2010 the last year i played(which was the 2009 season) the Giants started off 5-0 they had them rated 90+ best in the game as if they were going to the superbowl then they lost the next 4 straight and 8 the remaining 11...meanwhile the game still had them rated the best in the game for the entire year online week after week...

their NBA Live was actually using daily stats to make it realistic and it updated every DAY so i wouldnt of mind paying for that but that franchise doesnt even exist since the EA Pass started, i havent enjoyed FIFA since 2003(landon donovon cover)

they cant even let us map the controls properly, whatever moves are set to the same button on offense and defense are locked, you cant change them, so you're screwed if a move you want to change is paired with another move you DONT want to move on offense/defense...this is as recent as last years game..i wrote about it on their forums every year an it still hasnt been stupid

Forum Posts: 1596
Comment #37 by HalfEVILmonkey
Sunday, May 06, 2012 @ 06:09:49 PM
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Six Words: Army of Two: 40th Day DLC

Forum Posts: 2099
Comment #40 by mjc0961
Monday, May 07, 2012 @ 02:55:42 AM
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EA, shutting down all the studios you buy is not "preventing developer fatigue".

Forum Posts: 200
Comment #41 by Insane Sugar Rush
Monday, May 07, 2012 @ 02:37:58 PM
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If you shut the servers down, dont include an online pass. If you include an online pass, dont shut the servers down.

Conversely, dont put in online achievements and it wont be a problem imo

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #42 by LAClassSSN705
Monday, May 07, 2012 @ 07:03:25 PM
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You would think they have developer fatigue, since it seems there's a new madden every month.

Forum Posts: 215
Comment #43 by Restricted-Access
Tuesday, May 08, 2012 @ 01:02:47 AM
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I'll tell you EXACTLY what EA Sports needs to do: STOP COMING OUT WITH A NEW GAME EVERY YEAR FOR EACH SPORT! Instead... just come out with DLC that adds the next season's players to the current game (disc). Keep the servers online, but add new players (or features, as designed). If the game being played is unranked, you can play against other players with whichever season of players you want to use. If ranked, then it forces gamers to play with players from the same season.

It would be cheaper for them, to just release a new season of players as DLC... and we don't end up with a game disc that becomes obsolete. I'm not sure how many points for achievements would be added for each season... I suppose that would depend on how long they would go before coming out with the next version of a game (5 - 7 years, maybe)?! They should have done this from the beginning (when the 360 was launched)!!!

Forum Posts: 215
Comment #44 by Restricted-Access
Tuesday, May 08, 2012 @ 01:08:03 AM
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Another thing... why don't they have a "peer-to-peer" way to play these games they don't want to keep servers online for? A gamer hosts what amounts to a private match, and can play a game over Xbox LIVE with a friend. No leaderboards, no ranking... but at least you can still play online (and get "some" online achievements)!!!

Way to NOT think outside the cubicle, EA!

Forum Posts: 233
Comment #45 by RickyD31
Tuesday, May 08, 2012 @ 09:09:05 AM
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The return of NBA Live not NBA Elite??? I love NBA Live series, we'll see...

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #46 by Ghosty McGoo
Tuesday, May 08, 2012 @ 06:37:24 PM
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they'll probably just make the EA sports games military shooters.

Forum Posts: 1788
Comment #47 by newbsicle
Wednesday, May 09, 2012 @ 09:00:31 AM
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You should have asked him why he thinks E.A. was recently voted the worst company in America.

Forum Posts: 155
Comment #48 by BurningBlaze21
Sunday, May 13, 2012 @ 11:37:27 AM
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Everyone talking about EA sports as a good company is completely wrong, even their sales in the sports franchises is case and point in this argument.

FIFA is the only one still making money.

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #49 by killerofmen
Sunday, August 26, 2012 @ 11:49:28 PM
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i'd bet if everyone stopped buying sports games,they'd soon get the f***ing message,money grabbing b*stards

Forum Posts: 24
Comment #50 by RichRichie1989
Saturday, March 16, 2013 @ 11:30:54 AM
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hopefuly they dont close servers

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US September 27, 2011
Europe September 30, 2011

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