They are the go-to pre-drinking games, where you gather at a mate's house and crack out a few games whilst sipping on a few beers before hitting the town for a night out. They are the much beloved, officially endorsed and licensed games of sports fans worldwide and have made EA billions of dollars down the years with their faithfully recreated versions of football and soccer stars and a new one is released every year but according to the makers of the game, this may not be the case in the future.
One of the criticisms of these style of sports games is that they rarely offer any truly new or innovative gaming experiences but rather just update their rosters of stars and who they are playing for each year but fans still loyally buy the latest version each and every year but EA are of the impression that a time will, eventually, come when they don't release a new version each year with the theory being that, as gaming moves toward more internet based subscriptoon services, roster updates and upgrades could be released via downloadable content or automatic updates rather than waiting to the end of the year to release a whole new game each time.
EA CEO Andrew Wilson responded to a question from Bloomberg about whether this might ever happen by saying, "The short answer is yes." However, don't expect it to happen any time soon: "There's a few things that have got to happen first," Wilson explained. "We do a lot in a FIFA game every year and a lot in a Madden game, and there's a lot of code that we make available as part of the new iterations. But [in Korea or China] we don't do it that way: about every four years we release a big new code drop and we offer incremental change over time," he continued. EA and other developers also choose to annually update sports games in the mobile space rather than release a new game every year--FIFA 18 is handled like this on iOS and Android, for example. "I think there's a world where that might also happen in other parts of our business."
The Fifa games already have plenty of updates throughout the year that benefits those who use the game with an internet connection but it is not moving to a subscription-based service just yet as the current business model of releasing a game a year is working well and the sports arm of the gaming company continues to turn ridiculous profits for them. That being said, should this shift eventually come, it could end the traditional clamor for the latest game and the rush to get the latest game as well as the fact that EA isn't well-known for having great servers or connectivity when it comes to playing online.
What are your thoughts? Would you be happy to move to a subscription-based service or are you still happy to buy physical versions of your favorite sports games each year? Let us know in the comments below.