During a conference call EA was asked if the “Free-to-play” model that we see in social and mobile games would every transfer to other areas such as Consoles. Wilson, EA spokesman, stated that they are “actively” seeking those idea because they believe players are being trained to “expect a game to be free at the beginning.”
They are calling it “Free-To-Start” games, and Wilson explained that it isn’t just Free-To-Play they expect to bridge over, but other ideas too. He would like it if every game had 3 options for users: Pay for the entire title to be unlocked, pay as you go(subscription), or pay-to-play (microtransaction).
Personally I am no too thrilled about the idea because of my troubles with mobile and social games. These titles have options ranging way past the standard $60 price point, and are often unplayable due to some annoying “energy” style gameplay. “Oh you want to play more? Pay for more energy! 1 hour now only $249!” I like paying $60 (while it should be cheaper for some games) and being on my worry free way. Heck, with “season passes” that $60 price point becomes $110, how much more money do they need?!
This could change that dynamic though. Obviously subscription users will get some bonus like playing content early, so yay for having 15 subscriptions since everyone wants their own. Microtransaction styles will cost too much and the core unlock will probably be stripped down somehow. I mean we are talking about EA which just released a mobile Need For Speed game where you have to pay for “gas” or wait forever in order to keep playing….
We want to hear from you. How do you feel about bring demo’s back…. err… free-to-start titles?