Wednesday, May 23rd 2018

On the New Subscription Age, EA Acquires Game Streaming Service Gamefly

Seems like almost every industry is looking towards transitioning to a subscription model for its goods and services. Netflix may be the most iconic one such company, having acquired millions of subscribers that allow it to have a relatively stable, monthly influx of liquidity (yes, we can also count World of Warcraft on such a scenario). However, many other industries have taken to the same approach (think lootcrates, all kinds of crates, subscription services for online features, etc).

That said, few industries can take the same amount of data from their subscribers such as these media-consumption based ones, where an Internet connection is required, and user data - be it views or, the most interesting metric, engagement rates - are king in determining exactly what the user base expects and craves more of. Netflix's algorithms and view history have been responsible for the selection of its future investments. The base idea for the movie Bright, for example, was developed based on a mash-up of genres Netflix's algorithms indicated as the more captivating to the user base - and Netflix's sci-fi portfolio, for instance, has recently grown towards becoming the single biggest investment from the company, as users seem to gobble-up such content (I'm dully guilty as charged for that one sin as well, I have to admit).
After that (slightly) lengthy introduction, we come to the real crux of the article, in the announcement, via press release, that EA has acquired game streaming service Gamefly. EA had already dipped its toes in the subscription-based world with its EA Access platform (which grants users access to a growing catalog of EA-published games, provided they make a monthly or yearly payment). However, that EA Access only distributed EA-made games severely limited EA's ability to gather user engagement information in the market as a whole - only EA-published games saw their data collected, which left EA with a sort of circular feedback loop, where it has to make changes to its own games to see and study user reaction, or otherwise, take some macro, distanced looks at other industry players' moves, successes, and defeats.
Now, with a game streaming service under its proverbial umbrella, EA not only has another means of games distribution, but has access to user engagement and data collection on other, non-EA games, extending its reach further, and being better able to, a la Netflix, curate its investments, see what works, what doesn't, and when doesn't it work. It's a nice move, bringing EA up to speed to Sony and Microsoft's efforts to generate a streamlined revenue (and information) highway to serve the market exactly what it knows - or doesn't even know yet - it needs. Sources: nu.nl, Wired, Quartz
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8 Comments on On the New Subscription Age, EA Acquires Game Streaming Service Gamefly

#1
TheGuruStud
If I didn't know how stupid people were, I'd expect this crap to be dead by now. By my calculations nearly every kid born is a sucker. How many is that per minute?
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#2
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
So they bought a streaming service to 'Streamline' their revenue...

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#3
dozenfury
Ugh, I've actually liked Gamefly. It gives me a chance to try PS4 exclusives before I buy them, or even finish games (if they are short enough) without buying them at all. I mainly game on PC, but there are some games on PS4 that simply aren't available on PC (Madden, MLB The Show, Uncharted, etc. etc. etc.). It's also useful for trying out PSVR games without having to buy them. And as a service they've been very good for me to work with as far as helping if I've ever had issues with a scratched disc or one that took a while to arrive.

So EA acquiring them is disappointing at least on the surface. But who knows, maybe they will somehow roll it into Origin and make it one big consolidated service that isn't awful.
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#5
Mindweaver
Moderato®™
I hardly ever play any of my origin games. I did buy Titanfall 2, but I haven't played it over 15 minutes. I do enjoy playing PvZ with my daughter.
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#6
TheGuruStud
dozenfury
Ugh, I've actually liked Gamefly. It gives me a chance to try PS4 exclusives before I buy them, or even finish games (if they are short enough) without buying them at all. I mainly game on PC, but there are some games on PS4 that simply aren't available on PC (Madden, MLB The Show, Uncharted, etc. etc. etc.). It's also useful for trying out PSVR games without having to buy them. And as a service they've been very good for me to work with as far as helping if I've ever had issues with a scratched disc or one that took a while to arrive.

So EA acquiring them is disappointing at least on the surface. But who knows, maybe they will somehow roll it into Origin and make it one big consolidated service that isn't awful.
They didn't buy gamefly, they bought the tech and personnel. Sounds like gamefly wants out and couldn't sell the whole biz to me. I guess it's basically semantics, but a little bit of distinction.
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#7
Totally
TheGuruStud
They didn't buy gamefly, they bought the tech and personnel. Sounds like gamefly wants out and couldn't sell the whole biz to me. I guess it's basically semantics, but a little bit of distinction.
So they bought the house but didn't buy the land it sits on.
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#8
lexluthermiester
It has EA's name on it? Pass...

dozenfury
But who knows, maybe they will somehow roll it into Origin and make it one big consolidated service that isn't awful.
Please tell us you say that "tongue-in-cheek"?
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