EA Free2Play Chief: $60 Games are 'Exploitative'

March 22, 2011 -

Ben Cousins, General Manager of EA’s free-to-play branch Easy Studios, says that the current $60 retail model for games is exploitive. In several interviews to promote the launch of Battlefield Play4Free, Cousins is throwing jabs at the traditional retail model and putting a positive spin on free online games. Of course, it makes sense that Cousins would bag on retail, while pointing out the sunshine and rainbows he feels are associated with the free to play model.

"I can’t think of anything more exploitative than gating all of your content behind having to pay someone $60," Cousins tell Rock, Paper, Shotgun. "That's a really harsh business model if you think about it objectively. What we do is enable everyone to play the game, and figure out if they like it. If they don’t like it they can walk away and they don’t lose anything."

Cousins adds that the future of gaming is "platform agnostic" and that "free games with deep multiplayer experiences" will be at the center of it all.

On a related note, you can check out Battlefield Play4Free by visiting battlefield.play4free.com.


Comments

Re: EA Free2Play Chief: $60 Games are 'Exploitive'

James, the word is "exploitative".  "Exploitive" is not a word.  If you're going to put quotation marks around something, it's probably a good idea to make sure it's the word the person actually used.

Re: EA Free2Play Chief: $60 Games are 'Exploitive'

I can imagine this argument being misused to support the growing tendency of releasing incomplete/buggy games, then charging customers again for 'downloadable content' that should have been part of the full game in the first place. And then tempting them a year later with all of the DLC and the initial game in a 'game of the year' edition if they really want that complete experience.

Initial release price tags are okay and demos for prospective customers to try are pretty common - it's not like you can't wait a few months for the game to drop in price, either. Rarely do I buy a game on release anymore and frequently it saves me about £20 or more per game. If I know the game is likely to be re-released with all DLC later on as well, then I'm prepared to wait even longer and save even more money. Only time I pay that new release price is if I'm absolutely desperate and hyped up about the game, or if there are perks to preordering that warrant the cost.

I want good developers to make money and I'm prepared to give them that money in exchange for their work. It would be nice if they didn't harp on about the used game trade though as that is really your only recourse if you do, indeed, buy a game and not like it, or need to raise some funds to buy the next game they're releasing.

Re: EA Free2Play Chief: $60 Games are 'Exploitive'

Remember Shareware? They gave you a full set of levels and if you liked it, you'd buy the full game. In Wolfenstein 3D, they gave you a whole chapter, boss and all. Why can't game companies do that anymore? They can get a profit by selling the shareware (cheap, like $1-3 at the most) or for free if the want, and gamers can find out if the want it or not. And not just PC, but consoles too. Quantity people!

Ah yes I'm that old. :)

-------

GamePolitics, it's time for a mobile version of the site, don't you think?

-------

"WARNING GUARANTEE: This post contains material which a truly free society would neither fear nor suppress."

Re: EA Free2Play Chief: $60 Games are 'Exploitive'

Becuse new games are about as long as the old demos >>

 

Also they are working on better demos but downloading a 10-20GB game is silly just to get an hour at it....


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: EA Free2Play Chief: $60 Games are 'Exploitive'

Though, Zippy, that model works with MMO trials and Casual game trials as they don't know how far you'll get in the demo.  Though, sometimes it doesn't work as I saw HALF of what Plan It Green had to offer before my free hour was done.  Also, with FATE (especially with the Expansequels), you're not giong to see a lot because of HOW the games play, even if you immediately enter the descending tile.  Just saying for what you said about downloading the full but only playing a chunk of it

Replying to your earlier statement about 200 USD for a "Free 2 Play game", I gave an example of a "Pay for the Base set, pay rediculous amount of money if you want the rest". 

Re: EA Free2Play Chief: $60 Games are 'Exploitive'

Any way you look at it the game narrative is lite on content which makes demos difficult to do and free to play models even more tricky. I think they would be better off treating a games IP in 2 segments online and offline and charge more for the online unless you are really working on the single player game narrative.


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: EA Free2Play Chief: $60 Games are 'Exploitive'

Ya but the 200$ free to play game is even more so..... just say'in...


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: EA Free2Play Chief: $60 Games are 'Exploitive'

How long has EA been in business? 20, 25 years? Funny how they didn't mind the exploitation for all those years.

But then, this has nothing to do with one-time exploitation, but the desire to exploit many times over a long period of time, shutting out the used market, etc.

The only thing exploitative here is EA's Free2Play Chief himself.

Re: EA Free2Play Chief: $60 Games are 'Exploitive'

To be fair though, neither the Sims (if you stay in one generation of games) or Guitar Hero can be considered the most expensive game out there.  Railworks 2 on steam costs over 1100 if you want every single train and scenario that studio has put out. 

Re: EA Free2Play Chief: $60 Games are 'Exploitive'

Railworks is a sim, there are different rules for sims

Also steam only allows the game publisher to publish 'DLC', so what has happened is people wishing to sell their content on steam do it via proxy, so its not all the publishers content (most of it isn't), you are also ignoring the massive amounts of free content that isnt released to steam for it, and the still significantly large paid content that isn't released to steam for it.

I do however hate how it ends up spamming steam, but comparing a sim with lots of content developers to games is not an equal comparison

Re: EA Free2Play Chief: $60 Games are 'Exploitive'

Hmm... that muzzle flash is awfully far from the muzzle.  I can see why the game is free. :P

It's interesting that he talks about how this is great for consumers when the model is developed to actually make more money from consumers.  It's just that you make the money over a longer timeframe.

Also, the existence of demos (for some games at least) and extensive previews, reviews, trailers, gameplay videos, etc. kind of belies his point about being able to try before you buy.  In my opionion you can have a reasonable idea of whether or not you'll like a game before you shell out money for it.  And if you think about it, most things you buy come with no such expectation that you should be able to try it out before you decide to pay for it. 

===============

Chris Kimberley

===============

Chris Kimberley

Re: EA Free2Play Chief: $60 Games are 'Exploitive'

its hard to tell but I think that might be an incoming rocket not muzzle flare

Re: EA Free2Play Chief: $60 Games are 'Exploitive'

You're also assuming all games work with all hardware. That's not even true in console space (see: FFXI on PS2, Fable 3 on 360)

 

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
SleakerGamestop articles popping up everywhere about their ludicrous new Credit card offerings at a whopping pre-approval for 26.9% APR07/29/2014 - 10:19pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/07/podcasting-patent-troll-we-tried-to-drop-lawsuit-against-adam-carolla/ the podcasting patent troll scum is trying to turn tail and run.07/29/2014 - 9:50pm
MaskedPixelanteOf course it's improved. At launch, Origin was scanning your entire hard drive, but now it's just scanning your browsing history. If that's not an improvement, I dunno what is!07/29/2014 - 8:59pm
Papa Midnighthttp://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/columns/experienced-points/12029-Has-EAs-Origin-Service-Improved-Any-Over-the-Last-Two-Years07/29/2014 - 8:25pm
Sora-ChanSo it's just a matter of having better emulation software. If it can be done with a 3DS game, with all the memory and what not it takes up, it can be done with a GBA title through emulation.07/29/2014 - 7:30pm
Sora-ChanOther VC titles for the NES and Gameboy had the same setup where you couldn't access the homescreen without quitting out of the game til a later update when those games were released for the public outside of the founder program.07/29/2014 - 7:28pm
Sora-Chanthe 3DS can, and does, run GBA games, as seen by the founder gifts, which included a number of GBA titles. As for running GBA games and still having access to the home screen, I beleive it's more of the game emulation software needs to be updated.07/29/2014 - 7:27pm
Matthew Wilsonthe 3ds already swaps os's with the original ds. plus I dont think people expect miverse interaction when playing a gba game.07/29/2014 - 6:06pm
MaskedPixelanteBut that's not the issue, the 3DS is perfectly capable of emulating GBA games. The problem is that it doesn't have enough available system resources to run it alongside the 3DS OS, and thus it doesn't have access to stuff like Miiverse and save states.07/29/2014 - 5:45pm
Matthew WilsonI am well aware that it requires more power, but if a GBA emulator could run well on a original psp, than it should work on a 3ds.07/29/2014 - 5:36pm
ZenThe reason the SNES could run Gameboy, or the Gamecube could run GBA was because their adapters included all of the necessary hardware to do it in the respective add-ons. The systems were just conduits for control inputs and video/sound/power.07/29/2014 - 4:51pm
ZenMatthew: Emulation takes more power than people realize to run a game properly. You can make something run on less, but Nintendo...as slow as they are at releasing them..makes them run as close to 100% as possible. Each game has its own emulator for it.07/29/2014 - 4:47pm
Matthew Wilsonkind of hard to believe since the 3ds is atleast as powerful as the gamecube hardware wise.07/29/2014 - 4:27pm
MaskedPixelanteYes, the 3DS has enough power to run 16-bit emulators, but not at the same time it's running the 3DS systems themselves. You could run the games, but you wouldn't get save states or Miiverse.07/29/2014 - 4:04pm
InfophileRunning GBA on 3DS shouldn't be hard. The DS had flashcarts sold for it that added just enough power to emulate GBA and SNES games, so the 3DS should have more than enough natively.07/29/2014 - 3:37pm
MaskedPixelanteIt's a bunch of people whining about boycotting/pirating Trails in the Sky FC because XSEED didn't license the Japanese dub track, which consists of about 10 lines per character.07/29/2014 - 11:27am
Sleaker@MP - devolver Digital issued a twitter statement saying they would replace the NISA pledge.07/29/2014 - 10:57am
E. Zachary KnightIs that a discussion about RIAA member music labels?07/29/2014 - 10:48am
MaskedPixelantehttp://steamcommunity.com/app/251150/discussions/0/43099722329318860/ In this thread: Idiots who don't understand how licensing works.07/29/2014 - 9:20am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/07/28/gaymerx-in-dire-straits-after-nis-america-allegedly-backs-out-of/ NISA backs out of GaymerX support, but it seems like the only people crying foul are GaymerX.07/29/2014 - 6:30am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician