Electronic Arts’ CFO Blake Jorgensen spoke at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference about the next generation, attended by Gamasutra. He said that the next generation PlayStation and Xbox will not be backwards compatible. He also talked about how Electronic Arts will transition from the current generation to the next generation.
“An important thing to remember is that next-gen consoles will most likely not be backwards compatible,” said Jorgensen. “And if you [play] multiplayer on a game, you’ll most likely not be able to play with someone on a different generation. And so if you’re a FIFA player and, and the soccer season’s starting in August, and all your friends are playing FIFA, you’re going to want to be on the same box that they’re on.”
“So if they all go out and buy a gen-four box if it comes out at Christmas, then you’ll most likely do it. If they all hold on and continue to play on third-generation, you’ll probably not see that box purchase until after the soccer season’s over.”
Jorgensen has said that transitions to the next generation are very rough and the main reason is that companies have too many titles which can get expensive. Electronic Arts is a lot more focused than they were in the past.
“We’ve got a core group of ten-to-fifteen titles,” said Jorgensen. “We’ll stage those in terms of the transition and manage those costs through that. Our goal is to keep the cost increase for R&D under $100 million. And some of that will be in this year, some of that in ’14, and some in our fiscal year ’15.”