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EA Clarifies Free-to-Play, Connected Gaming Comments

| 28 Aug 2013 21:52
Peter Moore

Peter Moore of Electronic Arts says the publisher will continue to develop offline, single-player games, and not all of them will be free-to-play.

Speaking at Gamescom over the past weekend, Electronic Arts COO Peter Moore made the rather bold statement that "We don't ship a game at EA that is offline," and furthermore, "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." Many gamers seemed to immediately envision a future in which EA charges full price for its games and then demands more money for separate but essential content, all while forcing players to maintain a connection to the hated Origin. It did not go over well.

But in a "quick clarification" posted yesterday, Moore explained that his words were widely misinterpreted, and that while most games today are online in some fashion, he did not mean that every game EA puts out will require a connection to the internet in order to work. "Many, if not most, of our games include single-player, offline modes that you can play entirely without an Internet connection, if you so choose," he wrote. "We know that's something many of our players want, and we will continue to deliver it."

The same holds true for EA's long-term plans for free-to-play. "Many of our most popular franchises for PCs and mobile - including Battlefield, Need for Speed, FIFA, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Plants vs. Zombies and now Madden NFL, to name a few - already offer free-to-play experiences," he continued. "However, NOT ALL of EA's games will offer a free-to-play mode. We will continue to explore new free-to-play experiences for our franchises when we believe there is gamer interest and a cool new game we can build."

It's a tricky message to deliver, complicated by loosely-defined terminology and the fact that very few gamers are willing to give EA the benefit of the doubt on anything. Its recent history hasn't helped, either; Origin has made great strides but remains unloved, the SimCity launch was an absolute debacle and an awful lot of Plants vs. Zombies fans aren't happy with the sequel's transition to a straight-up free-to-play game. The truth remains that while free-to-play and connectivity may not be inherently bad, it sure is awfully easy to do bad things with them.

Source: Electronic Arts

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