Rajat Taneja - Global Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President - at EA has been a very, very busy and popular man at the company of late. He's the motive force behind EA's Cross-Platform "Single Player Identity" program. And this is set to change everything.
You may remember Raj from the "EA and Microtransactions" story we ran yesterday
. Well today's is potentially more explosive. And it begins with a comment made to the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference.
"When we think about the platform, we think about it as the digital operating layer for all our games to enable connected experiences across all the devices on which our games work", Mr Taneja told sometimes bored analysts who really wanted to know about ROI and growth of sales.
Slipped into the conversation, however, was: "We began an effort last year to identify our 275 million registered users and the 2.5 billion game sessions we run a month more ubiquitously across all their experiences with us.
"So, we began to create a single identity for our gamers no matter where they're logged in to our network. Just last week, we have now released code into production that allows our games to integrate and begin to do that, and as you can imagine, the kinds of experiences we can create for our gamers with that in place."
"A Single Identity for our gamers". Yes, across platforms. All platforms.
Raj later confirmed to VentureBeat
that, "We built the glue in the backend to connect the gamer across platforms."
So, this would seem to be a useful addition to your gaming life.
Mr Taneja continued to tell the analysts, "We also began a complete rewrite of our back-end data infrastructure. We generate somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 terabytes of gameplay and gamer data every single day.
"And so the way we ingest, process and make sense of the data and do both predictive and adoptive analytics in the game and around the game required us to rethink our entire back-end infrastructure and we have adjust released that as well in beginning to merge all our different data islands."
"We have made a lot of progress in enabling persistence of gameplay, and we are making steady progress in improving the infrastructure uptime and resilience and availability. We still have a lot more to do, but we are very pleased with where we are right now. When it comes to cost, we have also made a lot of headway. I'll give you a couple of examples."
And boy he does: "For example, for Origin transactions that take place through our Origin website, by bringing it in-house and merging it with the same engine that we've created for the rest of the company, we're going to save more than 50% of the cost per transaction basis as it goes live."
A saving of 50% to EA of each transaction. Think about how that changes the landscape for cost to consumer away from any chance retail may have left? No retailer can compete with that.
At this point, the analysts grew more interested. John Egbert of Morgan Stanley, Research Division sensibly bypassed the tech-talk and got to the point, Okay, great. So with all of that data, it seems like you have a ton of information collected on gamers. So with the focus on big data with a lot of companies these days, how do you think you can use that data to your advantage?"
And at this point, Blake J. Jorgensen - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of EA - drtopped the big one:
"Fundamentally, you should be able to see lower marketing and sales expenses over time as we have direct connectivity to our core gamers. So in FIFA
, for example, we can help people move from just being a FIFA player on the core console game into a FIFA Ultimate Team
"We can help them understand the benefits of that without having to put a TV commercial up or a magazine ad in place or even through search marketing
. We can have that one-on-one direct conversation with them. And the customers, they want that and they are excited by it when we engage with them that way."
That is a massive, massive change of the traditional video games marketing 'eco-system'. This is a huge story both for gamers, retailers and media.
Stay tuned for more.