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EA Sports' Peter Moore

"People are paying $10 and enjoying Online Pass."
Eurogamer How's Online Pass working out for you?
Peter Moore

Of connected consoles, people who can connect, between 60 and 70 per cent of them are connecting, putting their code in, and or buying Online Pass, getting the new digital content, and getting access to premium services and multiplayer.

We've got College Football in the US as well as Tiger, the two titles we can look at. And, you know, strong figures. And it's doing exactly what we hoped it would, which is rewarding our customers with premium content, with digital content and access to online services.

Eurogamer Is it having a meaningful effect on second-hand sales of your games?
Peter Moore

Difficult to tell. We don't get to see that data. It's not tracked. It wasn't intended to stop or slow down or in any way negatively impact second-hand sales. It was to encourage people to play online and enjoy download content. It was never intended to be any kind of strategy or tactic to impede used sales.

Eurogamer Really? That's what people think it's for.
Peter Moore

Well, what they think it is... We're pretty simple. If you're a customer of ours, not only will we give you our premium services, we'll give you digital content. Now if you're not, then there's a price for that, and it's currently $10.

We're not seeing any issues with people not punching the code in if they've got it. We're not seeing huge business yet, because it's early, but there are people paying their $10 and enjoying Online Pass and getting the content they want.

Eurogamer Any plans to retrofit 3D support into FIFA 11 with an update or patch?
Peter Moore

We talk about it with the teams all the time. I'm up in Vancouver and Orlando on a regular basis talking to the teams. For me it's simple. If 3D adds value to the gaming experience, then the teams will do it. It's not, as you know, inconsequential from a cost or performance issue. So there's got to be some real value. There's a cost to getting it done. There is a performance hit with frame-rate. So the teams have this extra work. More importantly for me is as both a sports fan and a sports gamer, it's got to add some value other than gimmickry.

Quite frankly, I've seen Madden in 3D using our regular game, and there are some cool moments when the camera comes down into the huddle and when the players are standing around, where you've got depth of field. But once you pull back to the normal camera - and FIFA's no different - 3D doesn't help you because the camera is so far away. You lose that depth of field.

So, it's got to add value. We're looking at it. We've got some titles at EA that are running in 3D. So we're learning from that. But I always draw the analogy that James Cameron, when he filmed Avatar, from the get go he knew it was going to be in 3D. Those camera angles and everything were built to deliver a 3D experience. Sports is not that easy. You've got to see the field to play it properly. It's not just washing over you like a movie.

If 3D helps you, which, to be fair, having seen some of the first-person shooters, you can see how 3D allows the depth of field in the shot. At some point we'll figure it out in sports, but it really has to add value before I put extra work and expense on the teams to deliver games that have it.

Eurogamer So there are no plans to patch 3D support into FIFA 11.
Peter Moore

Not right now, no.

Eurogamer I watched a football match in 3D in a pub recently. I felt a bit silly.
Peter Moore

Both my brothers did the same thing. They went to see a World Cup game. They came away saying, 'It's cool.' I said, 'Is it cool because you see the game better or you understand the game better?' 'No, it's just cool.'

Is 'cool' good enough in our world where this is not an inconsiderable expense, and in a world where you expect us to deliver FIFA every single year? Do I have to hire more people to do 3D, and then can I sell more copies of the game?

3D came a little too late to impact this year. But there's also got to be an installed base of televisions to make it worthwhile. I don't know anybody with a 3D TV. That says it all. And how much 3D broadcasting is there right now?

It reminds me of what high def was in 2003, 2004. Six or seven years ago it was still gimmickry and there wasn't enough high-def programming. Now of course it's very difficult to watch sports in particular in standard definition. So maybe six or seven years from now we'll be in the same boat with 3D.

FIFA 11 is due out on 1st October.

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About the Author

Wesley Yin-Poole avatar

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editorial Director

Wesley is deputy editorial director of ReedPop. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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