Though EA has been focusing on multiplayer as part of its long-term strategy to become less of a game seller and more of a platform provider, the company says single-player experiences are still key.
"Single-player is often how new players ramp into the game," CEO John Riccitiello said in a Gamasutra-attended investor Q&A on Thursday. "It's the way new players usually get exposed to a franchise."
This was in response to a question by Janco Partners' Mike Hickey, who asked company executives if a multiplayer-focused franchise such as Battlefield
could elminate single-player campaigns entirely, in favor of a service-based multiplayer platform.
"I think you have to have both, and clearly the multiplayer is the richer opportunity for us because of the services opportunity in keeping a customer engaged 365 [days a year]," added EA Studios president Frank Gibeau.
"It's a great question because we consider Battlefield
an online service. First and foremost, that brand was built on its multiplayer prowess, and the technology really lends itself to that."
This week's Battlefield 3
saw a record one-day shipment
for the company, with 10 million copies on store shelves in the first week and reorders already coming in.
The question came on the tail of Riccitiello once again outlining that one of the company's key initiatives is to transform its stable of IP into year-long services, rather than mere packaged goods.
In addition to the Battlefield
series, the company is also executing on this strategy with its Need for Speed
, Mass Effect
franchises, extending them all into social and mobile platforms while continuously offering new digital content.
"This is a strategy that only EA can deliver on," said Riccitiello. "Our competitors either have fewer brands, or have not demonstrated the ability to project their games onto multiple platforms."