Interesting that he doesn't specify multiplayer games? Not sure how free 2 play would work for mainstream single player. $60 games are dying and you can be sure that EA will be trying to use microtransactions to, over the life of a game, get MORE than $60 per player.EA's chief operating officer has expressed his belief that free-to-play is an "inevitability" for all mainstream games.
Speaking with Kotaku, Peter Moore suggests that a F2P future would be a good thing, as it would constantly bring in new players and potential customers.
I think, ultimately, microtransactions will be in every game, but the game itself or the access to the game will be free.
He explained, "I think, ultimately, those microtransactions will be in every game, but the game itself or the access to the game will be free.
"I think there's an inevitability that happens five years from now, 10 years from now, that, let's call it the client, to use the term, [is free.] It is no different than... it's free to me to walk into The Gap in my local shopping mall. They don't charge me to walk in there. I can walk into The Gap, enjoy the music, look at the jeans and what have you, but if I want to buy something I have to pay for it."
It comes in the wake of rumours that Bioware's MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic, which EA publishes, is looking at the viability of adopting a F2P model. If EA were to roll it out to their other titles though, it begs the question of how it would work. Microtransactions could be easily integrated into the likes of Madden NFL 13 or SimCity, but it's less apparent how they'd work with titles such as Mass Effect 3.
While Moore accepts that the proposed F2P revolution may not be imminent, that's not to say he didn't suggest changes are happening right this instant. Prefacing his claims with the warning that "hardcore gamers won't like to hear this", he explained that companies are increasingly taking notice of platforms other than the consoles.
Hardcore gamers won't like to hear this.
"We're going through, as an industry, just an unbelievably difficult transformation, that is not from one business model to another but from one business model to a myriad of different business models," he said.
"Consoles are still going to be a very important part of what we do. But so are browsers. So are iOS devices. So are Android mobile phones. So are PCs, which are feeling a renaissance. It's all coming together in this potpourri..."
None of this is hugely surprising. When we recently spoke to Moore about the public perception of EA, he revealed to us that he feels "The $60 game is dying. The mid-range game is no longer profitable. EA has to focus its energies elsewhere in order to meet those quarterly targets."