Connect with us

Games

EA Studio Chief Laura Miele on Getting Gamers to Love Electronic Arts Again – Bloomberg

Published

on

Laura Miele is helping direct the company toward a future where it’s more attuned with consumers.
Miele
One of the first things Laura Miele did when she became chief studios officer of Electronic Arts Inc. three years ago was to gather 19 video game influencers in a conference room. “What do you want me to hear? Lay it on me,” she recalls asking them. “One guy sitting at the corner of the table, he just said, ‘I don’t understand why you don’t give players what they’re asking for.’ ”
It’s something many gamers have wondered about EA for years. The $40 billion company, one of the biggest in gaming, is responsible for Battlefield, Madden NFL, and other megahit franchises. But many gamers have long seen EA as a necessary evil, resenting the direction in which it took some games and bristling at its aggressive attempts to extract money by charging extra for digital items in games that cost as much as $70 upfront. This dissatisfaction was no secret in 2018: Gamers spent their days filling up Reddit and other message boards with free advice for EA—but many felt its decision-makers weren’t listening.
EA’s leadership knows it has to improve that relationship, and Miele is a key player in its efforts to do so. Her focus group asked for new content for Star Wars Battlefront II and requested new types of games. Miele quickly assigned 70 people to the Battlefront development project, which dramatically improved its net promoter score, a measure of how likely people are to recommend the game. She also prompted EA to create a skateboarding game and committed to reintroducing its college football franchise, the two genres at the top of the influencers’ list.
In a sense, the guy at the meeting became a stand-in for all of EA’s long-suffering customers in Miele’s eyes. “I wanted to do right by this player,” she says.
As chief studios officer, Miele manages 6,000 staffers and thousands of contractors globally. She oversees EA’s 24 studios, where she makes personnel decisions and sets strategy, and she’s reshaped how the company uses analytics to create and market its games.
In the process she may have become the most powerful woman in gaming. In a 2019 International Game Developers Association survey, fewer than 30% of the more than 1,100 respondents were women, and few if any hold a more central role at such an important company. “It’s a tough place for a woman,” says Peter Moore, who was Miele’s boss when he was EA’s chief operating officer. “It wasn’t always smooth sailing, but she battled her way through.”
Proving good intentions is more important for EA than ever, as the business model of gaming continues to shift in ways that have the potential to alienate customers. Like its rivals, the company is increasing its focus on free-to-play games, making money through sales of digital products such as outfits and weapons for characters.
There are signs it’s succeeding. Apex Legends, EA’s free-to-play hero shooter game, has posted more than $1 billion in sales since it was first published in 2019, and it continues to grow. “The way to succeed with free-to-play games like that is to listen to and engage your customer base and earn their loyalty through incremental purchases,” says Doug Clinton, managing partner of the venture capital firm Loup Ventures, who says Miele deserves much of the credit for Apex Legends. “It feels like a proof point for her that the company is adapting well beyond traditional disk sales.”
Miele, 51, was born in San Francisco but grew up on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. She got her start in games—the kind that require a board—during family nights, when she pitted herself against her brother in Monopoly, Clue, Yahtzee, and backgammon. While attending the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, she worked at architectural companies. By the time she dropped out she’d moved on from receptionist positions to more senior roles, while gaining a reputation for organizing lunch-hour card games with her co-workers.
Miele landed a job as a project manager at Westwood Studios, a video game developer best known for Command and Conquer, in 1996. She eventually took over all marketing for its parent company, Virgin Interactive.
It wasn’t always a hospitable atmosphere: Miele remembers her colleagues expecting her to take notes at meetings, then clean up afterward. “That is just not something I would do today,” she says. “I adapted a lot because I was so passionate about what I was doing. I found my voice along the way.”
When EA acquired Westwood in 1998, she stayed on. At the time, the company did revenue forecasting by looking at sales data once a month and putting together spreadsheets by hand. Miele was tasked with developing more advanced analytics. She hired a group of data analysts, nicknamed “the Jedi,” and had them build EA’s first statistical regression models to examine sales trends, seasonality, and preorders. It took almost two years to put the system in place, but it overhauled the company’s business processes, and executives were soon using it to determine how to invest in advertising and promotions. “I loved how data and analytics can inform your judgment and your gut instinct,” Miele says.
Miele also decided to make one major break with EA’s existing business practices. In 2011 about 80% of game advertising budgets were spent on TV ads. But she saw how much time gamers spent online and decided to spend the bulk of the ad budget for Battlefield 3 on digital, downplaying other types of ads and cutting the TV ad budget to only 30%.
Messing around with the plan for Battlefield 3 was a good way to make people nervous. Miele remembers two executives calling her in for a meeting and demanding to know why they weren’t seeing billboards for the game as they drove in to the office. “It was scary for me, too, and I don’t blame our executives questioning me on that,” she says. But the game ended up being EA’s fastest-selling, moving more than 5 million copies in its first week. From that point, Miele’s marketing strategy became the standard for the company.
When EA signed a 10-year deal with Walt Disney Co. in 2013, Miele became Star Wars general manager. In 2014 she took over publishing operations, marketing, and other key areas, first in the North American region, then globally in 2016. At the time, the game industry was moving from physical disks to digital downloads, transforming its relationship with retail partners such as Walmart Inc. and Best Buy Co.
Miele was in charge of smoothing things over, explaining that EA would start competing with them for customers even as the retailers accounted for the largest portion of the revenue. “I never said to them, ‘Hey, see you later, we are moving on,’ ” she says. “It was, ‘How can we move forward together?’ ” EA began making physical cards with digital credits that its retail partners could sell at their stores, allowing them to share in the revenue from digital sales.
EA’s studios are spread around the globe, and Covid-19 altered Miele’s routine radically. “It was a very difficult year, and I’m really proud about how our company showed up,” she says. “I considered myself a wartime leader last year. You had to get in a bunker with everybody.”
Days became an endless progression of Zoom calls. To keep up with gamers, Miele started spending evenings listening to Clubhouse chats while answering work emails. Because she hasn’t been on the road, she’s also had more time to dine at home and play board games or Apex Legends and The Sims with her 16-year-old twins. As the pandemic retreats in the U.S., her schedule might change, but she still envisions providing more flexibility to her employees to work from home and office. “I do think we’re going to have a different work environment as we go forward,” she says.
Miele is itching to get back to the studio visits. She’s helping steer EA further toward smartphones. The company plans to release mobile versions of Apex Legends globally this year and spent $2.1 billion in April for Glu Mobile Inc., a mobile game publisher, while also preparing the next releases in its existing franchises. “I think the next Battlefield and the mobile shooter games, along with how successful the M&As come out will be key litmus tests of her management this year,” says Matt Kanterman, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. “Her scope is clearly rising.” —With Dina Bass and Jason Schreier
 
Read next: Curt Schilling’s $150 Million Fail Shows What’s Broken in Video Games

source

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Games

How to unlink Spotify from PS4 or PS5 – Android Authority

Published

on

Links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.
Here are a few fast, easy ways to link and unlink Spotify from PS4 or PS5.
While it’s fun to listen to personalized playlists when gaming, a Spotify Premium account can only play on a maximum of three devices, which adds up fast. Additionally, if multiple people listen to music from the same account on different devices, they may experience audio interruptions. Therefore, you may need to shuffle around your linked devices and unlink your PlayStation console from time to time, especially if you’ve upgraded to a new gaming console.
Read more: Finally got a new PS5? Here are seven things to do first
QUICK ANSWER
From your PlayStation console, open the Spotify app and select the settings icon from the left side of the screen. Then, from the Account settings, select Log out. Presto! You’ve now unlinked your Spotify account from the PlayStation Network. More details below.
With or without a PlayStation console?
First, open the Spotify app on your PlayStation console.
Select the Settings icon from the left side of the screen. This will bring you to a new page.
From there, select Log out to unlink your Spotify account from the PlayStation Network.
That’s it! Easy-peasy, right?
To link your Spotify Account with a PS4 or PS5 again, log back into the Spotify app via your PlayStation console.
If you no longer have access to your PS4 or PS5 console, you can still unlink your Spotify account via a web browser.
First, go to the PlayStation website and log in with your PSN username and password. From there, click Services in the top left corner of the website and select entertainment for PS4 or PS5.
From there, scroll down until you find PlayStation Music. Alternatively, you can search for PlayStation Music via the search icon in the top right corner.
Click on Link my accounts. This will take you to a new page.
From here, you’ll be able to link and unlink your Spotify account from your PlayStation Network account.
Click Unlink beside your listed Spotify account, and voila, the accounts are no longer linked.
Read more: Fifteen tips to get more out of your Spotify account
Can I unlink a banned PS4 account from Spotify? 
Yes. You can unlink your PSN account, banned or not, from a Spotify account via a web browser. You can do so by following the steps listed above. If you experience any problems, we recommend contacting Sony Customer Support.
Can I listen to Spotify while playing games on PS4 or PS5?
Yes, you can listen to music while playing compatible PS5 and PS4 games. However, this feature is not available on PS3.
Which countries support Spotify on PlayStation?
Visit the PlayStation Spotify region page for a complete list of countries that support the Spotify service on PlayStation. Note that available artists and tracks may vary according to location.
When did Sony partner with Spotify to create PlayStation Music?
Sony teamed up with Spotify to create PlayStation Music in February 2015, which replaced their previous Music Unlimited service.

source

Continue Reading

Games

Xbox Social Media Manager Explores Zeta Halo Using PS5 Controller – Pure Xbox

Published

on

Xbox Social Media Manager Explores Zeta Halo Using PS5 Controller  Pure Xbox
source

Continue Reading

Games

Artists Show Off Slick Concept for Xbox Series X Elite Console – GameRant

Published

on

The Xbox Series X will inevitably receive an updated model, and one creator shows off their design of what it may just look like.
The Xbox Series X is the current flagship console for Microsoft, and one of the most powerful consoles ever made. Like previous generations, the Xbox Series X is bound to receive a sleeker new model, perhaps even with upgraded specs, and one content creator has shared what they think it may look like.
When Microsoft revealed the Xbox Series X in 2019, its design was attention grabbing, and some might say for the wrong reasons. There is nothing outwardly strange or offensive about the design, but its size, shape, and color immediately saw comparisons between the Xbox Series X and refrigerators. Micosoft saw this as a great marketing opportunity, however, releasing an offical Xbox Series X mini-fridge that has quickly sold out practically everywhere. With the last generation of consoles, Microsoft released the Xbox One S and Xbox One X towards the end of the Xbox One's lifecycle.
RELATED: Microsoft Discontinuing Production on Xbox One X Consoles
A YouTuber by the name of Concept Creator has designed a mock-up of what the next Xbox Series X console variant may look like. Originally covered by Ilse Jurrien of LetsGoDigital, graphic designer Jermaine Smit of Concept Creator trims away the fat of the original Xbox Series X design, making it much more slender, sleeker, and recognizable, thanks to some key implementations. Size-wise, the Xbox Series X Elite, as Jurrien is calling it, evokes the jump from the Xbox One to the Xbox One X but to a much higher degree, with the Elite nearly shrinking the original Series X in half. The most eye-catching change of the Elite is the sharp, raised cross-piece that cuts across the top and front of the console, with LEDs that glow Xbox green on both sides.
Despite the additions, many of the key Xbox Series X design features are retained in the Elite's mock-up. On the left side of the console is the disc-tray, power button, and four USB ports that appear smoothly chiseled out of the console's body. Likewise, the signature venting that appears on the top of the original Xbox Series X returns on the right portions of the Elite, providing a nice blend of textures that dissuade easy comparisons to DVR boxes. Concept Creator's Xbox Series X Elite design also has a white variant, channeling the design of the Xbox Series S, the original console's little sister.
As it stands, not much (if anything) is known about the next iteration of the Xbox Series X. Microsoft's next family of consoles have been out for over a year, and while the Xbox Series S sold very well during Black Friday this year, still not everyone who desires one of these systems has been able to get one yet. With that in mind, while it is fun to think about the future of these systems and what they may look like, Microsoft's priority should still be in making its current lineup more available. Unless the Xbox Series X Elite magically doesn't require microchips, it will likely fall into the same issues as the current console lineup.
MORE: Xbox Game Pass Game Trek to Yomi Explained
Source: LetsGoDigital
Harry Potter actor Rupert Grint opens up in an interview in regards to his feelings towards the controversial author J.K. Rowling.
Recent graduate just trying to start conversations about video games. Can often be caught playing Halo when he really should be working on his backlog.

source

Continue Reading

Trending