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The future of Madden, EA sports video games: cloud based subscriptions

Video games will eventually start competing with streaming services like Netflix.

The current model was never a gamers favorite. Dolling out $60 a year for essentially a roster update and occasionally upgraded graphics.

Anyone who is a Madden devotee, an annual player of the most popular sports game out there, knows how it goes. Every summer a new disk makes your current disk worth about $4. But more and more, gamers are simply buying the digital download in the PlayStation Store and avoiding that extra step. Soon, it may be even easier for Madden players to trade up from 2018 to 2019.

“There’s a world where it gets easier and easier to move that code around — where we may not have to do an annual release,” EA's CEO Andrew Wilson told Bloomberg TV. “We can really think about those games as a 365-day, live service.”

The idea to make Madden a year-long service and not a game one buys at a store comes from the entertainment industry at large. With subscription streaming services completely turning upside down the way we watch movies and television shows, it only makes sense that video games become the next genre to take advantage.

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“When we design a game that lives in a true streaming world, we have to think about screen size and session time,” Wilson said. “How does a Madden game that exists in the cloud manifest on your mobile phone, one minute at a time? How does that manifest on your 60-inch TV, an hour at a time.”

There are no concrete plans for this change to take place in the near future but clearly the big picture suggests Madden will become a living, breathing entity on the video game cloud sometime in the not to distant future — along with it's fellow sports games in the NBA, NHL, MLB and FIFA.

 
 
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