I was honored to give the opening keynote of this year’s gamescom conference in Cologne, Germany and wanted to share with you my thoughts on where I see the industry growing, and what makes me excited to be in the gaming in such a dynamic time for the industry.
Games have evolved – they’re not a toy or a fad and they’re not just something for boys in their basements. We all know how the landscape of gaming has changed, but the question I always am asked is: What’s Next?
Here were my three main predictions that I shared in my keynote:
1. Free-to-Play Will Dominate – I expect this payment model to not only continue to grow, but I expect it to be the dominant pricing model by the end of the decade. That doesn’t mean we’ll stop working with retailers if that’s still where you want to buy games, but this is by far our fastest growing business model in Europe and I don’t see that changing. Free-to-play makes games even more accessible and allows you to play as little or as much as you’d like.
2. Games as Ecosystems – Games are no longer going to be a thing that you buy, but a place that you go to be with your friends. Take our FIFA Connected Universe as an example. From waking up and turning on your console to check the leaderboard, to making trades on your smartphone, to setting up matches on your PC during your lunch break, to taking to the pitch for a competition when you’re back at your console you can always be connected to the FIFA experience and in turn, your friends who are playing.
3. Cross-Platform Will Win – It seems the platform that will be the “future of gaming” is always in flux – we used to hear a lot of talk about social, and now that pendulum has swung back and experts are telling a different story. For those that have watched the industry change for as long as I have know that from this chaos will emerge a more dynamic and faster growing market.
We’re on the precipice of a golden age of gaming and I think the economic and cultural implications are impossible to overestimate. I couldn’t be more optimistic about the future.