Ever the controversial publisher, Electronic Arts look set to include those pesky in-app purchases within all of their upcoming titles. Develop reported that at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference, EA’s CFO Blake Jorgensen’s claimed that gamers are lapping up EA’s microtransactions.
“We’re building into all of our games the ability to pay for things along the way, either to get to a higher level to buy a new character, to buy a truck, a gun, whatever it might be, and consumers are enjoying and embracing that way of the business.”
EA’s Chief Financial Officer continued;
“If you’re doing microtransactions and you’re processing credit cards for every one of those microtransactions you’ll get eaten alive. And so Rajat’s team has built an amazing backend to manage that and manage that much more profitably. We’ve outsourced a lot of that stuff historically; we’re bringing that all in-house now.”
Jorgensen also insinuated that store prices of new games would raise by $10 in the US, but EA contacted TheSixthAxis to inform them that the CFO “misspoke”.
Microtransactions are expected in games that are free-to-play, sure. That’s how those developers/publishers make their money. However, my own personal opinion is that, the microtransaction model is becoming far too common in regular, retail video games. Between on-disc DLC, online passes and so many other factors, this generation has seen the rise of a situation where your £40/50 will only get you the basic package.
Now, the player may spend a couple of quid on crafting tools in Dead Space 3 (which can be found in-game, for free), but who’s to say that in the future he/she won’t have to part with an indeterminable amount of cash to unlock a part of the single player campaign in Dead Space 4, or something else of that magnitude. If gamers are “enjoying and embracing” microtransactions as much as Mr. Jorgensen states, this could easily come to pass. The model is still in its teething stage, in this particular incarnation, and trying to see what the future may hold for console games is a little bit terrifying, particularly if other publishers jump on the bandwagon.