EA CFO Bigs Up Benefits of 'Uncapped' Monetisation Made Possible Through Games as Services

Written by Stuart Thomas on Wed, Nov 15, 2017 2:28 PM
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The age of walking into a shop and picking up a complete game for a fixed price is swiftly moving into the rearview mirror. Electronic Arts is swiftly leading that charge, spying an opportunity to utilise a mixture of subscription-based services, ongoing updates and microtransactions to deliver games that have no upper ceiling on how much you could feasibly spend on playing them. It sounds like a publisher’s dream come true, at the expense of gamers’ wallets.

Speaking at the UBS Global Technology Conference, EA chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen pointed to the success of FIFA and Madden’s Ultimate Team modes as an example of how revenue can be generated indefinitely after a game’s launch. Tied in with EA’s Origin Access subscription service, it’s a ticket to huge revenue gains for EA.

"If you have a live service component to games you can have a subscription that's uncapped," he said. "Give people a way to spend money on things they want to do and that they enjoy doing versus simply capping them at $9 or $10 per month and that's all they can ever spend.

"We find people play twice as many games, they spend twice as long on them, and they spend twice as much money because you've reduced the cost of trial to close to zero."

What this comes back to is EA’s recent comments regarding abandoning annualised releases in favour of pure service models. Lowering the barrier to entry means more people can get on board with these games and, once they’re hooked, they’re more willing to continually spend cash. “It's a great consumer offering, but it's also for us a much more stable business, an easier business for us to run long-term and doesn't have the same limited cap that most subscriptions would have," said Jorgensen.

You can see EA expand out into this market in real-time, and not only with its sports titles. Star Wars Battlefront 2 operates on the exact same recurrent spending model as Jorgensen is bigging up, only it also carries the baggage of a $60 entry fee to even play the game. It’s F2P mechanics and games as a service wrapped up in a premium package, but the groundwork is evidently being laid by EA for further efforts in this area.

Ultimately EA is hunting for the right balance between consumers being happy and EA reaping huge profits. That’s a lot easier said than done, and I think the real signifier of how much progress has been made will be apparent when we see just how well Star Wars Battlefront 2 does at retail. If the recent microtransaction furore and brutal unlock system has no noticeable impact on sales, we’ve got our answer.

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11:24 Nov-16-2017

They make it sound like people are sitting around thinking about how they'd like to spend more money on games but simply can't. In reality it's that all this monetization makes people feel obligated to spend that money, they feel like they have to because they have to support the company and they have to be the best by spending money. Then you get the c*ockknockers that defend them.

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20:30 Nov-15-2017

Ok im gonna sound like a damn parrot so i'll be short... STOP SUPPORTING GREEDY COMPANIES, ITS ALL A FREACKING SCAM !


Think not only for present but for the future of gaming as a whole, GAMERS you truly have the only power here so use it to make gaming a better place for all !


Time for words has passed long time ago, the time for action is now ! Stay strong and resist !

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19:37 Nov-15-2017

I just feel that the masses that buy into EA's crap deserve what they get, and anyone else who feels disgusted by the state of the industry should stop giving their money to these scumbags. I've now switched to indies for the bulk of my gaming, with only 2-3 AAA purchases a year,from trusted developers. Works for me.

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19:08 Nov-15-2017

"Ultimately EA is hunting for the right balance between consumers being happy and EA reaping huge profits" yeah it's called making a good game that people want to buy. Remember when GTA V struck $1 billion revenue in it's first three days before GTA online even released, yeah

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19:33 Nov-15-2017

Good point. But take into account GTA V had a massive production/marketing budget, bigger than even the average EA title. It also had a 5 year development period and probably most importantly, it was a Grand Theft Auto title. And that's a brand that would sell even if the game was a turd.
EA can't emulate that.

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11:29 Nov-16-2017

On the other hand GTA Online is the one of the worst when it comes to MTXs. They change the gameplay so many many people feel they have to buy shark cards or else they're gonna get the cool stuff. They release tons of "free" content that doesn't make it any easier to make money, but always comes with more stuff to make you feel pressured to buy shark cards so you can buy it.

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16:47 Nov-15-2017

i mean if the game is free and there's this much in game purchasable content it's something but the problem is it's a full priced game and also freemium games have much better support and updates than this

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16:28 Nov-15-2017

AAA gaming is becoming worse every minute that passes

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16:11 Nov-15-2017

Please someone take away the licensing from EA.. I need my FIFA somewhere else.

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11:33 Nov-16-2017

That's not going to happen and it's a pretty stupid idea. First off who's gonna take it away? The government? Yeah, that sounds like a lovely idea, the government taking away people's IP and giving it away to other companies because it's consumers have become disenfranchised. Maybe the government can make you some FIFA then.

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16:04 Nov-15-2017

And we could do gaming a service and not buy anything from EA again.

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15:14 Nov-15-2017

Corporate greed ruining the AAA market at its finest. Good job EA, I hope you're proud of your achievement.

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15:04 Nov-15-2017

This 'pristine gentleman' (term used more loosely than a slobbering tongue), in a nutshell, is saying that he plans to expose the children of today and tomorrow to unregulated gambling in gaming and gambling addiction so that he can fill his pot of gold.


Children Pay Attention...This is who you're not supposed to become when you grow up.

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14:53 Nov-15-2017

This makes me want to sell my rig and forget gaming forever, if this is the future of this industry.

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15:17 Nov-15-2017

Don't do it man. Just find developers who don't add greedy stuff.

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15:26 Nov-15-2017

I have found myself moving more and more into indie territory, I know that most don't push my rig (i7 4790k & gtx 1080) but for the gameplay and alot of the time no sign of microtransactions i love it!

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15:52 Nov-15-2017

Thing is, many studios have a price. If EA finds an upcoming studio that is rooted in old gaming practices and that studio is doing well, EA just might buy out a perceived threat and squash the competition.

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20:25 Nov-15-2017

Very true you speak the truth there I mean it breaks my heart what is happening at Bioware what a developer they were

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18:32 Nov-15-2017

Well i shifted my money to indie developers, not all indie titles are basic 2D titles, there are some out there that are actually very good.


An example for this is Tripwire, they are releasing a game tomorrow called Tannenberg

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18:34 Nov-15-2017

... (wich is techinically a standalone expansion for Verdun, one of their games) which i invite u all to take a look if u like realistic FPS multiplayer withouth p2w :)

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19:18 Nov-15-2017

Sorry got a bit confused there, i meant Blackmill games, Tripwire are the makers of red orchestra 2, a very similar title to Verdun/Tannenberg

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