What we learned from EA and Epic Games' time at the DCMS select committee

What we learned from EA and Epic Games' time at the DCMS select committee

The UK's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has been looking into the possibility of technology having a negative influence on its users.

The investigation was announced in December 2018 and is being chaired by Damian Collins (pictured) with the latest session taking place just yesterday, in which FIFA giant Electronic Arts and Fortnite firm Epic Games were grilled by members of the British Government.

"The inquiry will examine the development of immersive technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, and the potential impact these could have in the worlds of sport, entertainment and news," DCMS said in describing the scope of the investigation.

"The inquiry will also look at how the addictive nature of some technologies can affect users’ engagement with gaming and social media, particularly amongst younger people."

The next hearing is on June 26th, with King, the British Esports Association and the Video Standards Council as well as trade bodies UKIE and TIGA in the hot seats. 

Here are six things we learnt watching EA and Epic's time in the spotlight.

1. Epic really doesn't want us knowing how much money Fortnite is making

Fortnite maker Epic Games isn't being very forthcoming with data about the battle royale title's audience.

Speaking to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee, marketing boss Matthew Weissinger was unwilling to disclose how much money its users were spending each month within the game, saying: "Unfortunately, as a private company, we consider that competitive information that in general we have not shared and do not feel comfortable sharing."

The firm was also unwilling to share what portion of the 250m Fortnite accounts were dormant, again saying that it wasn't willing to disclose that information publicly.

2, On average, people play FIFA 50 times a year

EA's football smash hit FIFA is played 50 times in a year on average.

That's according to the publishing giant's VP of legal and government affairs Kerry Hopkins, who told the DCMS select committee that it doesn't record user play time, rather examining at a different metric altogether.

"We look at something called session days. To be clear, the data we are able to gather through our game when people are playing shows that they have connected to the game," said Hopkins.

"We can collect things like number of matches played, but we don’t actually collect data that shows that there has been ongoing input. For instance, I would know that you came into the game today and played four matches, but I not whether you left the game open on your system or how long you were actually playing for. What we can tell you is that the average number of session days for a user of our FIFA game is about 50. That means that they have played 50 times over the year." has the full story.

Editor - PC Games Insider

Alex Calvin launched in August 2017 and has been its editor since. Prior to this, he was deputy editor at UK based games trade paper MCV and content editor for marketing and events for London Games Festival 2017. His work has also appeared in Eurogamer, The Observer, Kotaku UK, Esquire UK and Develop.


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