EA Plans Free-To-Play For Every Major Franchise

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EA Plans Free-To-Play For Every Major Franchise

Battlefield 3: Aftershock screen

Electronic Arts COO Peter Moore says connectivity and free-to-play are going to be "part and parcel" of every major franchise in the company's stable.

There was a time, long, long ago, when a studio made a game and released it, and gamers purchased the game and played it, and if all went well they looked forward to the sequel and played something else in the meantime. It was a simple system, for a simpler era; but times have changed, and Moore says the days of "fire-and-forget" game development are over forever.

"The ability to be able to interact with [Battlefield and FIFA] on a free-to-play basis has got to be part and parcel of every major franchise we do now," he said in an interview with Engadget. "That's very important to Electronic Arts now, to be able to bring more consumers into our world of FIFA and Battlefield, the two that I think point out what we can do on a 24-hour basis, regardless of how much money you've got in your wallet, how much time you have to spend, what device you're playing on [or] where you are in the world."

The same thing holds true of always-on gaming, which Moore said is now a part of everything EA does. "We don't ship a game at EA that is offline. It just doesn't happen," he said. "And gamers either want to be connected, so that your stats and your achievements and whatever you do certainly reflect who you are, or you want the full multiplayer experience on top of that. We don't deliver offline experiences anymore."

Like them or not, free-to-play and always-on gaming can succeed or fail depending on their implementation, as illustrated quite nicely by Mass Effect 3. The multiplayer component implemented a free-to-play mechanic that allowed hardcore fans to dive in without punishing more casual players, but the forced integration of multiplayer as a part of the single-player experience could be frustrating and even infuriating for people who couldn't, or didn't want to, jump into the action. The idea of broad-based free-to-play doesn't bother me, in other words (and of course, your mileage may vary) but EA will have to step very carefully if it wants to avoid dragging broad-based closely outrage behind it.

Source: Engadget

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So in short, EA didn't want to get outdone by Microsoft in the stupid decisions race and has decided to make a comeback. Great.

Andy Chalk:
"And gamers either want to be connected, so that your stats and your achievements and whatever you do certainly reflect who you are, or you want the full multiplayer experience on top of that.

I don't want either one of these. What does that make me?

If it's one thing I learned, its that EA are cowards. The second this starts to backfire they will get in line. If people support it then they deserve what they get. :)

I don't trust or have any confidence in their ability to understand what free to play means to care much about this news.

Just look that what they call "free to play" with SWTOR.

On the upside, there will be demos for all the EA games.

sounds like ea wants me to hate them i haven't joined that bandwagon and i really don't want to. i like sp games always have always will

I wouldnt mind if what they did was just a small spin-off title to go along with the release of the actual game to give some publicity, but to actually turn a franchise into a F2P game just because of a quick buck is a dumb decision

Wait a sec... free to play using Mass Effect 3's multiplayer as an example?

Since when does ME3 multiplayer qualify as free to play? You have to buy the game to get the multiplayer component of it, therefore it is not free to play. Or am I missing something?

Ha, and everyone thought EA might have changed for the better with the Humble Bundle and the Origin return policy. It took exactly one week for EA to prove everyone wrong and shoot themselves in the foot again.

And that ladies and gentlemen is the EA we all love to hate.

I was half expecting them to pull off a PR blitz combined with multiple decent games released similar 2008 semi-revival before starting to kick puppies again. But no, they are going full retard again before those foolish people who though EA was changing could even get some positive momentum going.

The Pink Pansy:
Wait a sec... free to play using Mass Effect 3's multiplayer as an example?

Since when does ME3 multiplayer qualify as free to play? You have to buy the game to get the multiplayer component of it, therefore it is not free to play. Or am I missing something?

I was wondering that myself.

Maybe EA means that the ME3 multiplayer was "free-to-play" in that you didn't have to pay more to add multiplayer to the game.

In which case, it means EA is trying to redefine yet another industry term.

Addendum: Rereading the article, I believe this is the case.

The "multiplayer component" is described as "free-to-play".

Nevermind that it requires the base game for $60.00.

Do the people at EA not discuss their plans with each other? The humble bundle and return policy were smooth moves. But now their games are free to play? Why would you need a return policy on a free to play game? EA =/

Ed130:
And that ladies and gentlemen is the EA we all love to hate.

I was half expecting them to pull off a PR blitz combined with multiple decent games released similar 2008 semi-revival before starting to kick puppies again. But no, they are going full retard again before those foolish people who though EA was changing could even get some positive momentum going.

Lord help us all..../facepalm You were doing SO well,too.

here we go, EA spent all this time buying us candy and flowers, then they got down on one knee and promptly punched us in the gut.

seriously, though, why does everything need a multiplayer component? multiplayer almost always comes at the expense of the single player campaign, which in games like Mass Effect, Dead Space, and Tomb Raider, are why we bought the game in the first place. If you want to make a multiplayer game, make a multiplayer game, but these hybrid games are getting a tad bit bloated and unfulfilling, imho.

ot: and the capchia is a Telus ad, wonderful

There's the EA I know and utterly despise! I knew they were going to drop that playing nice act any day now.
*sigh* you know EA, I was really okay just hating Microsoft this year, why did you have to go and remind us you are also one of the main villains here.

Hate to point it out, I really do, but RIP battlefront

So first EA blasted Nintendo publicly on Twitter like twats and burned the bridge with them.

Then they go to Microsoft in support of their Xbone with original policies. Surprised that customers apparently don't want that shit, decided to backstab Microsoft with a fuck you and are now trying to act like saints.

Good show you cowardly dogs.

Wow... just wow...
EA you just have a talent for screwing things up...
I like mass effect and dragon age for its STORY. Mass effect 3 multiplayer was cool, but I bought the game for its story. Why would you think that every gamers wants to play online?

Fair enough for the sports games which I hazard are just a couple of new teams or something, but Viscerals last venture (Dead Space 3) was hampered enough with the online faffery. I'm only thankful that at least the game had an enjoyable core... not like FUSE, which was hollow and dead inside.

That said any future for the Mass Effect series lools incredibly bleak. Please find another publisher Bioware, go to Activision or something, they'll shut you down afterwards, but you can at least die with dignity.

I just wave goodbye to any possible of a good mirror's edge

Andy Chalk:
The same thing holds true of always-on gaming, which Moore said is now a part of everything EA does. "We don't ship a game at EA that is offline. It just doesn't happen," he said. "And gamers either want to be connected, so that your stats and your achievements and whatever you do certainly reflect who you are, or you want the full multiplayer experience on top of that. We don't deliver offline experiences anymore."

I'm with evevryone saying this is bull. I don't like stats. At all. In fact, the best multiplayer games in my experience are all about the heat of the moment. There are always dicks on the internet, but once you factor in win/loss and kill/death ratios people cease to play the game for fun. Everything is suddenly about the stats and people will often intentionally screw a match just so they can try to get their k/d a little higher. EA, I don't want your stats, I don't want your 'online experience.' I stopped buying your products for these very reasons several years ago. Your services are getting better, your PR is working again, but your products need to improve. If you're so focused on making a wide reaching, versatile product, why are you limiting that versatility by intentionally crippling offline play?

Andy Chalk:
Like them or not, free-to-play and always-on gaming can succeed or fail depending on their implementation, as illustrated quite nicely by Mass Effect 3. The multiplayer component implemented a free-to-play mechanic that allowed hardcore fans to dive in without punishing more casual players, but the forced integration of multiplayer as a part of the single-player experience could be frustrating and even infuriating for people who couldn't, or didn't want to, jump into the action.

This is the key part. There is nothing here saying that all their games will be entirely F2P, just pieces of them. The success/failure all depends on which piece(s) they choose to push this on.

Why are stats always so heavily marketed? If I wanted to look at numbers, I'd look up math classes on youtube.

I'm so glad the only things I'm attached to are amusement park videos and abridged series(es) on youtube.

Oh theeeres the dickery I know and come to expect from you EA. Glad to see I haven't debased myself by buying into any of your shit still.

I'll make my response short and to the point and it is directed ooooonly at that 'we don't ship offline games anymore' crap. Ahem.

Fawwwk yooooou.
- Sincerely every poor sod who lives with unstable internet.

Eh, not surprised. What will it be next week?

"You see, all gamers today want to either club baby seals, or else bathe in the blood of a virgin while reciting Mein Kampf backwards, and we want our products to reflect currant consumer needs. That is why, from now on, no EA title will ship without these features included."

I'm not even angry at them anymore, I just don't care. I don't purchase their titles anymore, and feels good to let go of the hate. Thank God for Indie games. There are still great companies out there I can support, I left EA behind a while ago. It's still funny to keep up with them, so I guess they succeed in keeping me entertained, albeit not in the way they intended.

You could always go the Microsoft route.
"Fuck you for buying our game! Fuck you for buying our system!"

EA *sigh*

Puts Single Player into Multi Player games (BF3 and 4) but no one really wanted it.
Put Multi Player into Single Player games (DS3) not many really wanted that unless I am really mistaken.

Puts all the Free to Play aspects into some of its titles, just not the Free to Play parts.

Makes a Single Player title that players mess with offline between serious gaming sessions... into a MMO, and doesnt add the MMO parts, just the always online and can deliver DLC straight to your machines.

Takes a fun and easy game with a interesting slant that appears on every platform, and turns it into another shooter on mobile and iPads.

Where did they get these idiots from ? I bet they would take the beans out of a bean cannery as well, or the booze out of a brewery.

From a single player focused gamer: We are done. Go away. Don't even breathe on me.

Oh, EA. You were doing so well.

Eh. Just as long as these free-to-play iterations aren't considered as full-fledged entries in their respective series - and just as long as EA retains the lesson it learned from SimCity's debacle....

I'm hoping they'll at least retain their promised offline features for The Sims 4. I absolutely do not want to get stuck with a pay wall thrust in my face for a game I paid full price for.

I think EA have forgotten that they make more than just battlefield and Fifa. I mean I would love to have the multiplayer for those two games for free (even if fifa didn't have the right names for the players) but F2P just won't work for lots of games, dragon age being a prime example, because the microtransactions just hamper the experiance. I mean imagine having to pay 0.50 everytime you wanted to equip new items on a party member or you'd have to wait for 24hours to pass in game time

Luckily i don't own a single EA related game and that's probably not going to change in the future.

"The ability to be able to interact with [Battlefield and FIFA] on a free-to-play basis has got to be part and parcel of every major franchise we do now,"

I, for one, cannot wait to see how the hell the Harry Potter franchise is going to interact with Battlefield. Call me a muggle, will you, you little shit? Let's see how well your Expector Patronum matches up against an M98B at 900 meters or so.

Yeah, I don't see this being a successful business decision. But then, it wouldn't be EA if they weren't fantastically stupid.

Hey the headline was wrong
EA: Now taking advice from local crack dealers.
There you go, all fixed.

"Here are some of our more popular games, but this is just a taste. If you want more it will cost you.... Heaven knows it will cost you....."

*genuinely excited squeal*

YES! Yes yes yes YES YES. Oh my god, it's going to happen again. The explosion at EA's face that was Sim City was one of the most fun and beautiful things I've ever watched in all my gaming years, and they're going to make even more bombs.
Yes, it'll be sad that EA's franchises will be a shadow of their past selves, but hey: those franchises didn't have much of a chance the moment they had the EA label slapped on them. Let the dumb chef cook his food, he might just learn once he sets the kitchen ablaze a couple more times.

I need to stock up the popcorn. I'll be very okay if EA immediately retracts the statement after realizing how stupid they were making themselves, but GOD do I love to see them suffer again.

ASnogarD:
the booze out of a brewery.

Marmite is the answer to this one.

Andy Chalk:
There was a time, long, long ago, when a studio made a game and released it, and gamers purchased the game and played it, and if all went well they looked forward to the sequel and played something else in the meantime. It was a simple system, for a simpler era; but times have changed, and Moore says the days of "fire-and-forget" game development are over forever.

Maybe I'm just an old fuddy-duddy gaming traditionalist...but I much preferred "the good ol' days" to these new-fangled "micro-transactions" and "subscription fees" and "you have to be online" requirements. Seriously, what ever happened to the expression "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"? That's one of the main reasons why I REALLY don't have much of a desire for either the XBone or the PS4. I want a game console. I want that game console to play games. I don't want a game console that also makes breakfast, phone calls, plugs into social media that I don't even use, shines shoes, mows the lawn, measures my heartrate, reminds me to brush my teeth, and does my taxes.

I want a box that plays videogames...nothing more, nothing less. And honestly it's statements like these where the executives of the gaming industry emphatically insist "The old ways are dead and gone. Get used to it because we're never going back to that way now that some genius discovered that a lot of people are willing to pay $5 for a shiny hat on their character that we could have put into the game anyways but decided we wanted to charge for it instead."

Really just makes me want to slap said executives right in the mouth.

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