EA happens to be in a spot of bother lately. The company isn’t exactly raking in cash lately, and they’ve actually been losing said money year over year for a while now. So what’s EA supposed to do? Take a risky start becoming a tad more innovative? Testicles to that idea, you dirty liberal. It’s time to start throwing in more micro-transactions.
“We are building into all of our games the ability to pay for things along the way; to get to a higher level,” CFO Blake Jorgensen said at a recent investors conference via EDGE. “And consumers are enjoying and embracing that way of business.”
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 mentioned games costing an extra $10 in the future, but EA later shot this down, saying that he had “mispoke” about those costs, according to TheSixthAxis. Games will still be in the usual $49-$59 range then. Riiiiiiiiight.
See, this is one of the problems with games today. It’s all well and fine to have Crysis 3 and FIFA: Penalty Oscar Acting Edition out every year, but sooner or later, gamers are going to get bored. There’s a clear lack of innovation in the industry today, something that was kind of highlighted by the recent Sony Playstation 4 conference.
We saw several sequels announced, and David Cage confusing high end graphics for compelling gameplay once again. The thing is, you don’t have to break the bank on creating a game, or at least, so damn many of them. And adding this financial model to all games is just going to piss people off. You’re already paying in excess of R500 for a full game, with extras that used to be part of the package now costing you extra. Like Capcom did when they cocked that idea up by charging for cheat codes in Dead Rising 2: Off the record.
Still, EA is somehow making such vast quantities of cash in the digital sector anyway, meaning that people are willing to pay.No matter how pissed off they are. I get that EA needs to make some new business decisions in order to survive. But they can do better than this.