Management at international gaming giant EA almost certainly held a high level meeting lauding HBO’s vision of the future this week. Representatives from both Electronic Arts (The Sims, Madden) as well as it’s child company, Bioware (Dragon Age, Knights of the Old Republic) stated that one of their goals was to emulate the premium cable network. On a Gamasutra conference call Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello outlined the company’s vision for online game distribution saying, “We hope to be HBO meets Netflix for gaming. But we’re also very keen to have our content distributed to anywhere and everywhere gamers are.” EA is looking to offer premium content that is universally distributed to anyone, anywhere at any time. The success of HBOGo has a lot of companies looking to emulate HBO’s success with online distribution of premium content.
In what would otherwise be an unrelated story that broke on the same day, Bioware marketing chief David Silverman said in an interview that “We’re making Mass effect 3 to be the best game we’ve ever made. That would make it one of the best games ever, and we’re hoping to see sales that reflect that.” Describing Mass Effect 3 as “HBO meets Star Wars,” Silverman said Bioware would feel “a bit weird if five-year-olds were playing Mass Effect” due to its mature, HBO-like themes. But the Canadian game developer is also aiming for the scale and scope of the Star Wars saga.
It looks like the term ‘HBO’ has become synonymous with premium, quality content delivered through a world-class online and offline distribution network. Some decision makers at the HBO corporate offices are smiling a little broader today.