Publisher Electronic Arts is working on bringing its large catalog of video games to the cloud, it revealed Saturday during its E3 press conference.
“The greatest disruption to the consumption of entertainment media in the last five years is the combination of streaming plus subscription,” said EA CEO Andrew Wilson. “As consumers, watching movies, watching TV, listening to music, reading books has never been easier. And we believe that disruption is going to have a profound impact on our industry in the next few years.”
Once the service launches, Wilson promised people will be able to play anywhere at any time. While the technology isn’t “full market primetime yet,” he said it’s a promise of what EA hopes to bring to gamers in the future. The publisher is running a demo this week. All of its games are streaming in full HD from the cloud to multiple devices.
EA’s announcement came less than a month after it acquired cloud gaming technology assets and personnel from GameFly. The Israel-based group will join EA’s functional teams, including the central organization responsible for operating EA’s Origin service.
Rival publisher Ubisoft is also looking ahead to the cloud-based gaming future. Co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot recently said he believes game consoles only have one more generation left in them before they fade away to be replaced completely by the ability to stream games to a multitude of platform-agnostic devices. “I think we will see another generation, but there is a good chance that step-by-step we will see less and less hardware,” he said. “With time, I think streaming will become more accessible to many players and make it not necessary to have big hardware at home.
EA also revealed during the press conference it’s launching a new subscription tier for Origin on PC called Access Premier. Similar to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, it will let members play the newest EA releases before anyone else, including “Madden 19,” “FIFA 19,” “Battlefield V,” and “Anthem.” It costs $14.99 per month or $99.99 per year and begins sometime this summer.