Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Monday, July 4, 2011

EA Embraces Free-To-Play

Better than Cars 2, at any rate.
Electronic Arts has certainly figured out that free-to-play can be worthwhile... Frank Gibeau, head of EA Games, says that F2P games can be just as profitable as a major retail release. EA Games has 17 million F2P users, and they are bringing in a lot of money. Interestingly, one of the big attractions for EA is that F2P games don't seem to be cannibalizing their usual retail game audience.

Another major plus for the F2P games is that they enable EA to make money from markets where there is no retail game market, and there's not likely to be one. Such as Russia, Brazil, and the Ukraine, where Need For Speed World is tops. It's another example of how developing countries leapfrog older technologies and go straight to the latest technology. For example, much of Eastern Europe never did have much of a phone network, nor does sub-Saharan Africa. And they're never going to bother building out a land-line network, because it's much cheaper and faster and more efficient to build out a cellular network.

Similarly, no one is going to bother going to the effort of creating retail store chains for software in countries where roads are chancy and gas is expensive. Why bother when digital distribution makes so much more sense? Which is also why, when you think about it, that console games with a reliance on physical media are never going to make much headway into developing countries. Not unless they embrace digital distribution for all their titles, which at least in the case of Nintendo will happen at about half past never.

The gaming platform of the rest of the world will be smartphones and tablets, not consoles and computers. Yet another reason to diversify, if you needed one.

1 comment:

  1. Free to play games certainly seem to be the future. Seems like a good thing for us gamers =3

    Great post, agree with you entirely