If the prospect of GaaS (Games as a Service) becoming an even bigger deal in gaming causes you to wince, you’d best look away now. A report from DFC Intelligence on ‘The business of Video Games’ has revealed Electronic Arts and Activision have collectively grown by $79 billion thanks purely to GaaS.
This eye-watering figure indicates the trend towards ongoing games is here to stay, and it’s here in a very big way right now. EA now publishes very few games, but the ones it does are monetised more than ever.
These gains aren’t just the case of massive companies becoming comparatively bigger either. The report claims EA has boomed in value from $4b in 2012 up to $33 billion today. That’s a growth of 725% since Mass Effect 3 launched, and effectively marks the moment at which EA’s fortunes truly began to turn.
Likewise, Activision Blizzard has ballooned from $10 billion in 2012 up to more than $60 billion today. This has been aided by the likes of Destiny, Overwatch, Call of Duty, and the continued success of World of Warcraft.
“Like Electronic Arts, in the past few years, Activision Blizzard has narrowed its packaged product lineup to a handful of franchises,” reads the DFC report. “Namely this is Call of Duty and Destiny.” These franchises occupied the number one and number two slots respectively of the bestselling games of 2017, and continue to take in cash through in-game microtransactions and additional content.
Clearly, there’s an incredible amount of money to be made in the GaaS, and any kickback against the move is being drowned out by the millions that are lapping it up. Activision and EA are by no means alone in this though, and it could ultimately mean further reductions in the number of AAA titles going forward. For publishing giants, it just makes sense to release fewer games and support for them for longer, providing a steady stream of reliable income.
Do you play many GaaS titles? Is this going to be the eventual way forward for AAA as a whole, or do you believe there’s still going to be room for traditional experiences? Let us know your thoughts!