EA: Free-to-play as profitable as console games

Written by Joe Martin

June 28, 2011 // 10:45 a.m.

Tags: #battlefield-play4free #console-games #electronic-arts #free-games #free-to-play #industry #need-for-speed-world #profit

Electronic Arts has reaffirmed its commitment to the free-to-play genre, promising that it will expand aggressively in low cost and free-to-play markets in the future.

Speaking to GI.biz (login required), EA's Frank Gibeau said that free-to-play games such as Battlefield Play4Free and Need for Speed World can be as profitable as console games.

'Frankly when they get to scale, have huge audiences, are very profitable, they're not cannibalising the main games and they actually reach markets that we're not currently serving,' said Gibeau.

'With Need for Speed World, Russia and Brazil are number one and two - the Ukraine is in there too. I can't sell packaged goods in those territories.'

'But I'm reaching an audience with Need for Speed content. It's an engine that's not as advanced as Frostbite 2 but it's certainly got great production values and great game designs, and it's free-to-play with micro transactions. It's a very exciting time from our perspective because it's not all about consoles. It's about smartphones, tablets, free-to-play, browser, social.'

Some of EA's free-to-play games have struggled to impress more established audiences, however - we didn't reckon much to Battlefield Play4Free in particular.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

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