Comcast, EA to End X1 Gaming Trial

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Comcast confirmed that it and Electronic Arts will close down a beta service on April 12 that streams games to X1 set-tops and lets customers control the games via tablets and smartphones, but said the MSO remains interested in offering games via the platform.

DSL Reports was first to report that the beta trial was coming to an end. "EA pulled their financial and staffing commitment and has no intention of supporting the trial further," the report said, citing an industry source.

A Comcast spokesperson also confirmed that there is no currently plan to move forward with EA on a consumer launch, but added that "there was a lot of interest from X1 users” for the beta service, which was not available to all customers who are on X1.

"Our Xfinity Games trial was a beta that we used to experiment with gaming applications on X1.  We learned a lot and our curiosity and interest in gaming on the X1 platform remains high and we’ll continue to experiment.”

A web site with details about the trial is still active. With almost two weeks to go before the trial ends, it also remains an option when accessed via the Comcast Labs section on the X1 service.

Following tests with employees, Comcast and EA launched a consumer beta trial of the offering, called Xfinity Games powered by EA, in July 2015.

The free trial featured a batch of titles that could be streamed to IP-capable X1 boxes, including some ports of EA’s FIFA and PGA franchises and some home-grown games. Rather than running on a separate mobile app, users controlled games via a Web browser on their mobile devices, a decision that was supposed to reduce consumer friction for accessing the service.

At the time, Comcast and EA said they would use the beta to gather feedback before moving ahead on a commercial launch. An early review of the trial offering lamented its small library of titles and some lag issues.