Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Businesses The Almighty Buck Games

EA Building Microtransactions Into All of Its Future Games 303

An anonymous reader writes "Develop reports on comments from Blake Jorgensen, Electronic Arts' Chief Financial Officer, speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference. As you may have guessed from the name of the conference, the business aspect of EA was the topic. Jorgensen said, 'The next and much bigger piece [of the business] is microtransactions within games. ... 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 the business.' This is particularly distressing given EA's recent implementation of microtransations in Dead Space 3, where you can spend money to improve your weaponry."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

EA Building Microtransactions Into All of Its Future Games

Comments Filter:
  • by murdocj ( 543661 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @09:04PM (#43030037)

    Blizzard does not do this. The stuff you buy from Blizzard is cosmetic, it doesn't affect gameplay.

  • by dexotaku ( 1136235 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @10:02PM (#43030479)
    I don't think that microtransactions are an inherently bad thing, but in this case - well, it's EA, so it can ONLY be bad.

    Take a look at Need For Speed World for some indication of the future.. the worst-implemented and maintained MMO that I'm aware of [noting that I know I'm not an expert on MMOs, but NFSW is truly shite].
    The game is ostensibly "free to play" and centred on multiplaying racing.. but:
    * As with most EA fare, the game is run almost entirely by the marketing department [I actually feel sorry for the devs, as it's evident that they're effectively bound & gagged by the marketing department]
    * the devs and marketing people actually stated, "You can't buy victory," despite the fact that the best of everything are available only for real money, and the best of everything totally affect gameplay and shift all advantages easily and quickly to any fool with a credit card
    * There's effectively no matchmaking most of the time, so the chances of being able to enter a public event with even remote chances of winning a round depend mostly on how much you've put into real-money-only cars that make up nearly all of the top performers
    * there's no chat system for users to communicate publicly; they had to disable it >1 year ago because the devs aren't competent enough to make anything even remotely robust or secure, script-kiddies would constantly cause the game to crash for other players with simple buffer overflows
    * EA obviously don't get what the "micro" in "microtransaction" is supposed to mean: all transactions are in dollars or greater; if you were to compare NFSW to any other NFS title and try to get the same gameplay out of it, it would cost thousands of dollars of your real money to even get close [and there are players who've put in thousands, insanely]
    * "Exclusives" cost up to $50-75CAD for things that are only special because of a repaint by the art department [exclusive monacle, anyone?]

    I could go on and on.. yeah, it's only a game, but compared to their off-the-shelf titles this "free to play" game is effectively several orders of magnitude more expensive.. which make little sense given that the real multiplayer aspects of the game are either disabled, broken, or simply not present. The game is basically, at this point, not really a multiplayer game.

    This is the future of gaming, going by EA's ethics-free "screw the customer" business plan: make the client free, but bleed players dry hundreds if not thousands of times over if they want to "achieve" the same things they can by buying last year's single-player+muliplayer title down-to-$10 at any brick&mortar store.

    I feel sorry for the smallish studios that EA keep buying up - the devs lose all freedom to determine the direction they want their games to go, and live under corporate policies that amount to "leave the customer completely in the dark while charging them as much as possible." The future of gaming, indeed.
  • by Lemming42 ( 931274 ) on Wednesday February 27, 2013 @10:12PM (#43030543)

    The answer to your rhetorical question is "because EA gives you a cut of the sales".

    Just look at Valve's current efforts with "Steam Workshop", where the community is allowed to build items for their more popular titles.

    They recently disclosed that at least one of the people who contributes content has already made over $500,000 from sales of their items.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 28, 2013 @02:01AM (#43031699)

    EA already has added "gambling" to SWTOR.

    You can spend REAL money to buy these crate things that contain RANDOM items of questionable in-game value. Now, you can't exactly turn that back into real world money, but you're essentially falling into the Pokemon style situation where you could end up paying hundreds of dollars to get that one "card" you really wanted. Another guy could get it on the first "pack" bought.

  • by HockeyPuck ( 141947 ) on Thursday February 28, 2013 @02:16AM (#43031755)

    I played Diablo 1 and D2 and thoroughly enjoyed them. D3 came out and in the beginning I enjoyed it. Then I realized that to get better gear I had to visit the Gold Auction house.. so I would put my stuff up for auction and try to buy new/better stuff. 99% of the time I couldn't move my old stuff b/c there was always something better in the auction house....

    Which would be great if I had tons of gold... so how do you get more gold?

    1. Grind grind grind... kill the same dungeons over and over again. Pickup the gold, and whatever trash you find, sell it to the merchant for more gold. Grind grind grind.
    2. Win the lottery. Something drops that actually worth something in the gold auction house.
    3. Buy gold with real money.

    The problem here is that gold in itself in D3 is basically worthless. I can recall when certain items were 10million gold. Then a few weeks later those same items were 40million gold. Are they more rare? Nope. There's just more gold available in game. So let's say you sold that item for 10million because you couldn't use it (wrong class). And you go on vacation for a few weeks. An equivalent item for your class would now be 40million gold. So now how do you get 30 million more gold?

    Grind grind grind or hope something drops for you or say f-ck it and pay Blizzard a few bucks to get 40 million gold. Knowing that in a month's time that instead of you paying $5 to get the item, you'd need to pay $10 because you'd need 2x as much gold.

    This is why I stopped playing D3. I realized in order to continue to advance I was playing to get gold for the auction house.

    I uninstalled back in October and haven't gone back since.

<< WAIT >>