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EA Plans Online Tiger Woods Game: Report

Electronic Arts on Friday is expected to unveil plans for an online Tiger Woods golf game, a report says, that could be subscription based.

Electronic Arts

(ERTS)

on Friday is expected to unveil plans for an online Tiger Woods golf game that could be subscription based, the

Wall Street Journal

reports.

The game, one of the company's first such offerings in the U.S. based on a popular game for consoles, will be available in the fall. The packaged Tiger Woods game last year sold 1.92 million units in the U.S., the

Journal

notes.

The company's plans for the Tiger Woods game, in addition to some other titles, is the latest sign of how the videogame industry is being reshaped by the Internet, the

Journal

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reports. Game players are downloading more games through console networks such as

Microsoft's

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Xbox Live and playing against each other online.

Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello believes online versions of its major console titles can attract a big audience, the newspaper reports. The company would be able to offer free-to-play games or charge affordable monthly subscriptions that give users extra content.

For Electronic Arts, which has lost money for nine straight quarters, the strategy could generate a steady flow of revenue from users instead of one-time payments for titles, the

Journal

notes. But the strategy faces several risks because some consumers that now pay for gaming simply might be content with basic offerings.

The company is making the investment in these online offerings when most of its revenue comes from traditional disk-based games. The

Journal

says the company has spent $150 million in each of the past two years to invest in new online technologies and new types of games such as the online version of Tiger Woods.