Do you want to be able to connect to your Battlefield, Need For Speed, and Sims, games at all times? Do you want to be leveling up skills in FIFA from work, or contemplating Medal of Honor weapons on your commute? EA certainly wants you to, and plans to make it happen.
Eurogamer reports that this week in the UK, EA exec Keith Ramsdale announced that EA will be developing "online universes" for all its franchises. He didn't mean multiplayer gaming necessarily, but rather a cross-platform, major tie-in approach to games, drawing in more or less every electronic gadget a player could possibly touch during the day. The example he gave was of FIFA:
Imagine a player gets up in the morning, plays an online match on his 360 before going to work. On the bus, on his way to work, he practices his free kicks on his tablet. At lunch he looks at the transfer window on his PC. On the way home he chooses his kit on his smartphone.
Here's the thing: when he gets home to play again on his 360 that evening, all those achievements and upgrades will be alive in his game.
EA demonstrated a move in this direction earlier this year with Mass Effect 3, not only adding the "galactic readiness" online multiplayer element into the game but also pairing it with Facebook apps and iOS apps and games that could influence the single-player campaign's readiness level.
Ramsdale indicated that EA intends to create the interconnected online systems for all of their game franchises, adding, "That gives the consumer full control of how and when they play in a rich world of content."
EA isn't alone in their drive to create interconnected online ecosystems around their game franchises; Ubisoft is doing the same with Ghost Recon and nearly every upcoming or recently released game has at least some kind of Facebook marketing tie-in.
Does every game need a "play anywhere" system that lets you tinker around the edges whether or not you're anywhere near your gaming console of choice? Maybe not, and the idea seems likely to translate better to some games than others. But every EA game is now getting one, so let's hope they're good.