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EA: Free customer service push will give us the edge

Publisher 'no longer shipping products but delivering live digital entertainment'

A key executive at Electronic Arts believes that investing in a free customer service centre is an essential new step for the business.

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Chief operating officer Peter Moore told CVG that the recent expansion of its Galway facility in Ireland will allow EA to provide around-the-clock support for its customers all around the world.

"We couldn't be who we need to be without this," Moore said, "and who we need to be is a direct-to-consumer digital entertainment experience.

"Gaming is a service and we need to be there on standby to help our customers."

The Galway facility, which is expanding its workforce capacity as part of a partnership with the Irish government, will provide several methods for consumers to get in touch.

Players can call the group directly, chat online via browser or discuss over email any technical problems they are experiencing.

Moore said EA was also working on "Answer HQ", essentially community pages that allow people to document their problems and find solutions.

Moore said that this kind of comprehensive and free service is something that many games companies will consider as the industry switches from boxed product to evolving online experience.

"Galway gives us a competitive advantage going forward as we step up and move forwards into the next phase of the industry which is direct to consumer," he said.

"We're no longer shipping products but delivering live digital entertainment - we have to be there for customers twenty-four-seven.

"Entertainment as a service is something we are keen on building, and we have things like FIFA Ultimate Team which build with millions of people playing them. FIFA is a core focus on what we're doing at Galway."

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