The only EA Sports game we get on PC these days is FIFA, and that’s a shame. NHL is a great couch-competitive game, while Madden is quick to learn and difficult to master, as well as one of the highest budget series in the world. In an interview with Game Informer, EA Sports top men are very candid about why this is the case.
They’re also games with great co-op plays to be made.
EA Canada SVP and general manager Matt Bilbey says that “PC is literally based on demand. There's still the high demand for FIFA on the PC globally because of the global appetite for the game. I think that's less so with Madden.” It’s difficult to tell sales figures for the PC version of FIFA, given it’s based on Origin rather than Steam, but it’s clearly one of the most popular games in the world.
Cam Weber, who occupies a similar position to Bilbey at EA Tiburon, primarily responsible for Madden, agrees. “Yeah, I think with Madden in particular, it used to be a good business, and then it declined and the economics just didn't make sense anymore. Then the compounding problem is that I guess in the last four or five years...as we get away from PC development, it becomes more and more difficult to get back to it.”
There is hope though. Weber says that theyre “open to it; it's just a matter of when's the right time and when does the opportunity make sense” while Bilbey thinks that “I think if [things change] and an opportunity presents itself, I think we would definitely leverage the opportunity.”
Part of the reason for this is the Frostbite engine and, presumably, the move to more PC-like consoles that make porting easier. "I think part of the vision you've heard about aligning on Frostbite as a company makes that a lot easier going forward," says Bilbey. “Frostbite is a very core PC engine that has the ability to move across consoles, up and down.”
So there’s hope for more EA Sports games on PC in the future, just not quite yet. Do read the full Game Informer interview for more on where the franchise is and where it’s heading, if you’re interested.