In a recent statement from EA, they said that all games in the future will include microtransactions. Fan outrage began, criticizing EA for it’s business practices. EA responded to gamers via a statement to Polygon clarifying what they meant.
Electronic Arts chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen said, “I made a statement in the conference along the lines of ‘We’ll have micro-transactions in our games’ and the community read that to mean all our games, and that’s really not true. All of our mobile games will have micro-transactions in them, because almost all of them are going to a world where they are play for free.”
Jorgensen continued to explain that they want to make all games from EA have things you can pay for in them. For mobile, free to play games that means microtransactions and for regular games that means DLC. The point of both strategies is to keep you playing the same game, extending it’s value to gamers. He explains, “You could play this game for the next three years and never pay a penny on it, or you could play and immediately upgrade and get more excited about the game. Consumers love that.”
Jorgensen also explained the business model for DLC and how it’s designed to add value for consumers, “It allows someone to take a game that maybe they played for 1,000 hours and play it for 2,000 hours. We are very conscious that we don’t want to make consumers feel like they’re not getting value. We want to make sure consumers are getting value.”
EA and other companies like them are all trying to figure out what the best way to sell video games are. The market has changed and as many in the game industry have said, it’s hard to compete with free. Microtransactions for a free game does make sense. DLC makes sense too as long as the content added on seems valuable. This can especially be applied to used games. When a person buys a used game, the publisher and developer don’t make any money from that; DLC allows the gamer to buy additional content if they did like the game. This improves cashflow for the game creators even after a game is on the used shelf for cheap.
What do you think?