Despite EA’s recent strong partnership with Microsoft, involving early and exclusive DLC deals for Battlefield 4 and Fifa 14 on Xbox One and an exclusive Xbox One Fifia 14 bundle for Europe, the giant publishing company has stressed that it isn’t siding with either company. This supposed neutral stance EA is suggesting they’re taking can only lead to speculation as to what type of deals the company has planned with Sony and it’s next-gen console, Playstation 4.
In an recent issue of Edge magazine, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau teased new programs that will reassure Playstation fans that the company hasn’t abandoned Sony.
“We’re not tilting Microsoft’s way; we are firm longterm supporters of Sony, Gibeau states. I’m sure you’ll see tactical programmes between us and Sony in the future that we haven’t announced, but will make things much more balanced.”
Gibeau also acknowledged the fact that Sony seemed to have learnt their mistakes with the PS3 launch. The Playstation 4 seems like a return to form for Sony and is heavily leaning towards a more gamer centric audience.
“I think the Sony team has executed exceptionally well – and they did not execute particularly well on PS3, whereas last time around Microsoft executed perfectly,” he says. “This time, Microsoft has run into some challenges, some leadership changes, but they’re a very resilient organisation, and if you look at their counter punches on any setbacks, they’ve done a pretty good job of getting back on track.”
Gibeau also admitted that he does not see a digital only future for this industry anytime soon. He believes that retail copies for videogames will still exist for a long while.
“A lot of the friction has been removed from the player experience in relation to downloads, but there is still friction, he says. If that gets smoothed out during this cycle, [the end of physical discs] is conceivable, but I don’t forecast it. A digital-only future is possible, not probable.”
The PS4 will launch on November 15 in North America and November 22 in Europe. Xbox One will launch November 22 in 13 territories, including the U.S and Europe.