EA says that all future games will have microtransactions (but not really)


Electronic Arts makes expensive games it hopes will sell well so they can make more expensive video games and hopefully return a tidy profit to investors that in part fund the expensive video games. It’s a cycle. It’s a business model that’s proven particularly effective over the last two decades. The problem nowadays is that it’s harder to make money on the expensive video games in the first place. How do you profit when people are buying used copies of Mass Effect 3 and giving all their money to GameStop? Or when they’re playing free MMOs like World of Tanks rather than Star Wars: The Old Republic? Hence EA’s Online Passes and microtransactions as part of their console games. It’s trying, somehow, to keep its revenue streams stable even as distribution models change. 

So really, it’s no surprise that EA is discussing making microtransactions a feature in all of its games. Or at least most of them. The publisher isn’t entirely clear on this point yet.

It started on Feb. 27, when Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen spoke at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media Telecom Conference. Jorgensen said that Dead Space 3, Real Racing 3, and other games in EA’s 2013 line up that prominently feature microtransactions are representative of all upcoming EA games. “The next and much bigger piece [of our business] is microtransactions within games,” said Jorgensen, “We’re building into all of our games the ability to pay for things along the way, either to get to a higher level to buy a new character, to buy a truck, a gun, whatever it might be, and consumers are enjoying and embracing that way of business.”

Contrary to Jorgensen’s remarks, the week that followed the Morgan Stanley conference was rife with debate over the company’s plans, because not all consumers are embracing that way of business. Many players are actively trying to find ways around microtransactions in EA games. On the other hand, game designers like Cliff Bleszinski (Gears of War, Unreal) rushed to EA’s defense

EA is now backtracking on Jorgensen’s initial comments. Speaking at the Wedbush 2013 Transformational Technology Conference on Monday, Jorgensen tried to smooth things over. “I made a statement in the conference along the lines of ‘we’ll have microtransactions in our games,” said the CFO, “And the community read that to be ‘all games.’ And that’s really not true. All of our mobile games will have microtransactions in them, because almost all of them are going to a world where they are play for free.”

Jorgensen may mollify console and large PC game players, but the fact remains: EA’s console game business is hurting. Microtransactions may need to be in all games to keep them profitable enough to make more games.

Product Review

There’s almost nothing bad to say about the Mi Mix 3, but you still shouldn’t buy it

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is good-looking, really well made, packed with features, and is a powerful, modern, desirable smartphone. But you probably shouldn’t buy it. Why? Nothing wrong with the device itself, but Xiaomi itself is mostly to…

Last gen had some hits! Take a look at the best PS3 games of all time

Choosing the right PlayStation 3 game can be a conundrum, especially when there are nearly 1,500 titles to choose from. Thankfully, we've rounded up the best games to have ever made it to the platform.

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. But with so many subreddits to choose from, exploring them can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

Here's a look at how the Epic Games Store is sizing up to the competition

The Epic Games Store has picked up exclusives left and right since its launch last December. From AAA games like The Division 2 to wonderful indies like Hades, the Epic Games store has an impressive library of exclusives.

Nvidia faces attacks from AMD, Intel, and even Google. Should it be worried?

Nvidia announced an expanded array of RTX server solutions designed to leverage the power of ray-tracing at GTC 2019. The effort will help Nvidia take on Google's Stadia in game streaming with GeForce Now, and the company's investments in…

Get Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice for free when buying an Xbox One

You can get Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice for free when buying an Xbox One from Newegg. Eight different bundles are available for this deal, so you can walk away with Sekiro and another game such as The Division 2 or Anthem.

Master Shinobi combat with our Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice beginner's guide

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is one of the hardest games of the generation, and it can be overwhelming, even for those who have played From Software's other games. Here is what you need to know to get started.

World of Warcraft's allied races will make you want to start a new character

The Horde and Alliance are seeking new allies in their struggle for control of Azeroth. Whether you pledge your allegiance to the Horde or Alliance, we've got a guide to help you unlock every allied race that's coming in Battle for Azeroth.

How 5G networks will make low-latency game streaming a reality

Faster speeds and more bandwidth are some of the many promises that 5G can deliver, but for gamers, the most important thing is low latency. To achieve low latency, carriers like AT&T and Verizon are exploring hybrid models for game…
Product Review

Nintendo’s Labo VR Kit may look silly, but it really works

During our hands-on with the Nintendo Labo VR Kit, fears of a gimmicky product from Nintendo were quickly dispelled. While not a direct competitor to Oculus or HTCs own headsets, Labo VR brings a clever, new way to experience VR that makes…

PlayStation does the smart thing, stops selling digital codes at physical stores

Sony will no longer offer PlayStation digital full-game downloads at retail stores. The game downloads will now only be available directly from the PlayStation Network's own digital store.

Seven years later, ‘Dark Souls’ is still a gloriously punishing masterpiece

Despite my experience and love of From Software’s Dark Souls III and Bloodborne, I never played the original Dark Souls. The new remastered version gave me a chance to remedy that, and it was glorious.