EA: “The Future is About Freemium”

July 30, 2012 Written by Sebastian Moss

Publisher EA is a strong believer in the freemium business model for game, and even believes that it might be the future of the industry.

Talking to MCV, EA’s interactive senior VP Nick Earl said:

The future is not about one-time payments, the future is about freemium. A decent number of people convert to paying and they may not pay a lot but most of them actually pay more than you’d think.

But while free-to-play games currently dominate the mobile market, and are making huge advancements in the PC market (especially with MMOs), only a few console games have experimented with the model. Earl shared his beliefs on whether F2P would be big on console, admitting that it might not be as successful as with phones, although he wouldn’t rule anything out:

I don’t know if freemium gets to console but I do know that humans like free stuff. I also know humans who will pay for something if they’ve tried it out and they like it.

I’ve wondered if freemium expands beyond the tablet, Facebook and smartphones, and out into consoles?” Earl concluded, “I don’t think it’s impossible for that to happen.

When I hear developers mention how a free option might entice players to pay for a title, it does make me wonder why so few games have a demo – essentially the very earliest and most basic from of F2P. What do you think? Are you a fan of freemium, or do you agree with us and believe it will be one of the many reasons why the future will suck.