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RPGWatch Forums » Games » General Non-RPG » EA All-in on Microtransactions

Default EA All-in on Microtransactions

March 2nd, 2013, 04:26
Well seems a former game employe from the industry has this response.
I’ve seen a lot of comments online about microtransactions. They’re a dirty word lately, it seems. Gamers are upset that publishers/developers are “nickel and diming them.” They’re raging at “big and evil corporations who are clueless and trying to steal their money.”

I’m going to come right out and say it. I’m tired of EA being seen as “the bad guy.” I think it’s bullshit that EA has the “scumbag EA” memes on Reddit and that Good Guy Valve can Do No Wrong.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m a huge fan of Gabe and co most everything they do. (Remember, I bought that custom portal turret that took over the internet a while back and I have friends over there.) However, it blows my mind that somehow gamers don’t seem to get that Valve is a business, just like any other, and when Valve charges 100$ for an engagement ring in Team Fortress 2 it’s somehow “cool” yet when EA wants to sell something similar it’s seen as “evil.” Yes, guys, I hate to break it to you, as awesome as Valve is they’re also a company that seeks to make as much money as possible.

They’re just way better at their image control.

If you’re currently raging about this on GAF, or on the IGN forums, or on Gamespot, guess what? You’re the vocal minority. Your average guy that buys just Madden and GTA every year doesn’t know, nor does he care. He has no problem throwing a few bucks more at a game because, hey, why not?

If you don’t like EA, don’t buy their games. If you don’t like their microtransactions, don’t spend money on them. It’s that simple. EA has many smart people working for them (Hi, Frank, JR, and Patrick!) and they wouldn’t attempt these things if they didn’t work. Turns out, they do. I assure you there are teams of analysts studying the numbers behind consumer behavior over there that are studying how you, the gamer, spends his hard earned cash.
There your problem is the typical gamer. Says it all right there. More on his blog.



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March 2nd, 2013, 04:44
'Real Racing 3' is ruined by in-app purchases
Now this is for a 'free' game. What if they implement similar model for a $60 game?
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March 2nd, 2013, 04:48
That dev do have a good point. Valve is doing microtransactions already. Blizzard World of Warcraft have a cash shop (and a monthly fee). Nobody cry over them doing those things. The whole thing is really just a company image thing.

But not for me, I don't want a cash shop popup while I'm playing Dragon Age 3…
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March 2nd, 2013, 04:49
Originally Posted by lilmagi View Post
'Real Racing 3' is ruined by in-app purchases
Now this is for a 'free' game. What if they implement similar model for a $60 game?
I just read about this game and how it makes you buy transactions just to play it drives you into microtransactions without no shame.

Taken from- http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20…acing-3-review
You notice the car you've just bought in a 13.99 pack is suspiciously slow in races, so you want to acquire the first of three engine upgrades that costs 44,000 credits. If you get 3500 credits for winning a race after getting tail-ended just once by another car, get handed a 2855 credit repair bill for the damage and then have to pay another 500 credits to get the oil changed - a job that takes 20 minutes to do, unless you want to hand over a little more cash - what's the final number?
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
But not for me, I don't want a cash shop popup while I'm playing Dragon Age 3…
You will as all future games from EA will have Microtransactions. I quoted that from my link in the first post.

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Last edited by Couchpotato; March 2nd, 2013 at 05:37.
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March 2nd, 2013, 05:15
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
You will as all future games from EA will have Microtransactions. I quoted that from my link in the first post.
I'm not sure if you were aware, but both DA2 and ME3 have microtransactions (especially the MP section of ME3). They don't have cash shop popup (well the MP section might I haven't looked at it in the last year).

Also, if EA can make the BioWare point buying system less annoying to get story DLCs, I'm all for the improvements. It's a pain in the ass right now.

Oh and about Real Racing 3, I suggest people go check Facebooks F2P games. That monetizing scheme is everywhere over there. EA didn't invent that one, they are just rolling with the "flow"…
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March 2nd, 2013, 05:25
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
I'm not sure if you were aware, but both DA2 and ME3 have microtransactions (especially the MP section of ME3). They don't have cash shop popup (well the MP section might I haven't looked at it in the last year).

Also, if EA can make the BioWare point buying system less annoying to get story DLCs, I'm all for the improvements. It's a pain in the ass right now.
I'm fine with the DLC. No problem with that much anymore. It's here to stay. The wallets have spoken on that issue and won. As for the MP who cares never touched it from any Bioware or EA game except TOR.

Just imagine if the sp was crippled and the only way to advance or get an edge will be there cash shop with micro transactions. Don't really want that at all.

At least most of the mp stuff is free and not necessary. They just give impatient people an easy way to upgrade your mp game. If it doesn't affect the sp then I will have no problem but I just know EA will find a way to.

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March 2nd, 2013, 06:55
I was really looking forward to the new SimCity and even preordered it at one point. EA looks to have reinforced to me that they are not to be trusted. Now it might not be as bad as it looks to be but the always-on requirement rubs me the wrong way especially when I don't want to play with other people. SimCity is as much a single player game as any Mass Effect or Dragon Age game to me. I can only see this as a way to enforce DRM as well as give them hooks to sell DLC and expansions as they can pull the crap they did in Dragon Age 2.

Heck most players have indicated that they dont want it but I strongly doubt they are going to fix it and allow an offline version. From the sounds of things this most of there games are going to go this way now. Yet another reason never to buy from them again. I sincerely hope that the community will step up and find a way to stub in a proxy server so that we don't require this.
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March 2nd, 2013, 09:22
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
I'm not sure if you were aware, but both DA2 and ME3 have microtransactions.
No they don't. They have DLC (small and a bit bigger). That is different than microtransaction we are talking about (altough, MP of ME3 does have some MT)

Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
Oh and about Real Racing 3, I suggest people go check Facebooks F2P games. That monetizing scheme is everywhere over there. EA didn't invent that one, they are just rolling with the "flow"
You are missing the point. Yes, facebook and iOS is filled with games such as Real Racing 3. But, EA said they want to add microtransactions to ALL the games. Don't you think that they could cripple the gameplay of a $60 game, if they based that business model on RR3 and Simpsons tapped out?
Would you play Dragon Age 3 where you need to pay real money to repair equipment? Or to unlock those extra abilities? Not to mention that they could implement artificial grind, just so you would be enticed to spend real money for convenience.
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March 2nd, 2013, 11:18
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
(..)The game is full and functional without buying any DLC at all.

If you wanted that to be accurate, you would take the expansion off to the side and dice it up into half a dozen tiny pictures and put $10 price tags on each.
Tiny pictures in a different style, perhaps. At least in the case of Mass Effect 2 the DLC didn't really fit into the game too well and felt a bit attached (no complete voice-overs, etc.). Also, the main offender is probably day-1 DLC.

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March 2nd, 2013, 15:17
Originally Posted by lilmagi View Post
No they don't. They have DLC (small and a bit bigger). That is different than microtransaction we are talking about (altough, MP of ME3 does have some MT)
What ME3 and DA2 have are called microtransactions in all the F2P games I played. Cosmetic items are the first things F2P games try to monetize. Small content additions are also considered microtransactions in F2P games. The only difference is that being single player games that content isn't downloaded on all installations (minus day 0 DLCs).

So when I compare F2P microtransaction with the ME/DA DLCs, I only see microtransactions.

Originally Posted by lilmagi View Post
You are missing the point. Yes, facebook and iOS is filled with games such as Real Racing 3. But, EA said they want to add microtransactions to ALL the games. Don't you think that they could cripple the gameplay of a $60 game, if they based that business model on RR3 and Simpsons tapped out?
I'm not missing the point. Real Racing is a F2P facebook/mobile game, what it does with MT is the norm on those platforms. It's wrong to believe that when EA says "we are putting microtransactions in all your games", they mean they are putting facebook/mobile type of microtransaction + the box cost in all their games. That's not what they said and that is not what they have been doing for the last 5 years.

People should read what the exec actually said and not just the sensational headline. What the exec said is that their analyst predicts that in 10 years "all" games are going to be F2P with microtransactions. They believe that "normal games" ($60 box ones) are not going to be made as much anymore. EA have been going toward online digital gamings and mobiles for quite some time now, this is just reaffirming their new business orientation.

I'm way more scared that the Dragon Age franchise get turned into F2P online/mobile games than of them getting crippled with a $60 box tag price + MT.
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March 2nd, 2013, 18:06
Folks, there are some big things going on in the industry.

1. The average gamer does not play a game for more than 20 hours or so. Expecting them to keep paying full price for games that they only get half way through is not smart.

2. Sales lost to piracy are going to keep getting worse and worse as countries like China get more people with enough money to get into the hobby. If you set up a system to discourage piracy without hurting your sales in the West too much, you'll make a ton of money.

3. The price of games hasn't moved. EVER. Inflation keeps happening but game prices stay the same. Audiences have been getting bigger to compensate but that can't keep up for much longer (it may have already stopped with all those people going to mobile devices). Prices must go up.

Microtransactions work well with all of these.

The a la carte methods of selling games (by the hour, by the feature, whatever) let people pay only for how much they use, which is going to be great for a lot of people. The ones that are too lazy to bother getting good reviews will be getting free demos, too. (Though the people screaming about how "padded" the content is are going to go completely nuts, I'm afraid.)

The microtransactions require that you register the game with central servers so you can't pirate a game by simply hacking out the bits where the DRM resides. These will be another reason why game developers will want to make their games "always online."

As for the price, by changing the model we aren't going to be as stuck on it going up and throwing a fit. The distribution is going to get wonkey, too. All those folks with short attention spans certainly won't be paying full price but they might be paying a little money to a lot more games. All the companies are going to have to mess with the pricing models constantly for a few years. Some people will end up paying more, some less, and some will think they're paying less when they're actually paying more.
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March 2nd, 2013, 18:57
1. If the game was made for an average gamer I won't buy it. I'm not an average gamer. And I don't care for 20 hours average gamers waste, if that was true that average WoW players are not average.

2. Again piracy… No matter what they did against piracy, sales of Ubisoft's AC3 and FC3 proved that the game will sell if it's good. Why the hell would someone pirate something that's worth buying? On the other hand, I really don't care how many copies of crap games were pirated. If they were worth playing, they would have been bought.

3. Connected to point 2. If a game is awsome, ask more and I'll pay. If the game is crap, for example iOS smartphone junk, how dare you to ask a single dollar for that sh*t? DLC scandal cannot be connected to this, DLC is simple milking the money scheme.

And for always online DRM… It's very annoying, I have a few Ubisoft's games and can't say anything positive about it. Sorry. It could have been made as online required when installed, first time run or something, but the always online requirement is utterly stupid. In fact why Ubisoft has to know how many hours and when I'm playing their game? It's a case of deliberate spying on me!
On the other hand, things could be worse. DRM is evolving in the wrong direction for years already and soon we'll probably have to use a drop of blood so some online database can check our DNA to allow us to play a singleplayer game.

P.S. I'm aware the thread is about EA, but it seems to me they just want to be worse than Ubisoft.

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March 2nd, 2013, 19:35
Yes Sloth all your points are good but I don't approve of the way the game industry is moving. Sadly nothing I or others say will have any impact because frankly people will still buy there games.

Cliff Bleszinski thinks you should vote with your wallet but that doesn't work anymore. The casual gamer has the power now and they don't care.

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March 3rd, 2013, 15:21
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
1. If the game was made for an average gamer I won't buy it. I'm not an average gamer. And I don't care for 20 hours average gamers waste, if that was true that average WoW players are not average.
I consider myself to be an average gamer - but one who prefers to buy offline, and adventure games.

I personally believe that among "average gamers" the amount of those who'd prefer to buy offline - not Steam and similar services - is much, much bigger than the companies - which have the younger gamer generations who are already accustzomed to buy things online - might want to believe - if they knew about it.

And I also believe that the 30+ or even the 40+ gamer is - in THEIR view/opinion - NOT an "average gamer" !

The "average gamer" in THEIR view is - as far as I can see it - a person ranging from being a teenanger to the end-20s.

I might be wrong, but this is the far BIGGEST group I have seen on the Games Com during the last years - and because of that I have no doubt that "the industry" is catering THEM.

The Whales, that's something different. They're imho a group entirely different from the "average gamer" - although perhaps sometimes overlapping with them.

Edit : And : Don't MMOs have Microtransactions, too ?

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March 4th, 2013, 05:12
We have another viewpoint from another game site.

Are you a gamer? The games industry hates you. Sorry. But as the music business proved, big publishers and console makers can still turn things around - before it's too late.

This week, the music industry showed growth for the first time since 1999, while piracy has dropped, according to the NPD Group’s Annual Music Study 2012.

At the same time, the games industry is shrinking at an alarming rate, new releases selling less every year and overall cumulative spend weakening seemingly every week.

Proof lies in Ninja Theory’s Devil May Cry reboot. The game topped the Japanese charts, selling 116,000 copies in week one according to Media Create. That’s compared to Devil May Cry 4, which sold 245,000 when it topped the charts five years before.

NPD also revealed that the US games market has been shrinking 5% year-on-year, while the ERA states UK games sales plunged by 17.4% in 2012.

That’s the result of a generation that’s dragged on too long, people say. Partly.

But it’s also because, over the course of the past seven years, the games industry has shifted – against the consumer. Against the players.

Games used to cost 40 and had unlockable content you’d be given for doing well; beating the game or collecting collectibles.

Now, you’re given a meaningless virtual e-peen sticker (sorry, Achievement or Trophy) and locked out of some of the best content, even though it’s on-disc, unless you turn out your wallet.

Even then, DLC models are greedy. You can buy Forza Horizon (or Forza 4’s) VIP DLC pass for about 40 (the price of the game, again), but you’ll still miss out on some of the new cars released on top of the VIP content. Super VIP content? It’s diabolical.

Then there’s network passes, asking us to pay 5-10 to play online just because we dared to buy used. Are these passes, by the way, still going to be maintained even when games are no longer in print? What happens when buying used is the only option? Answer: you still stump up.

It’s the industry’s answer to everything.
Link-http://www.nowgamer.com/features/182…to_change.html

Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
The "average gamer" in THEIR view is - as far as I can see it - a person ranging from being a teenanger to the end-20s.

I might be wrong, but this is the far BIGGEST group I have seen on the Games Com during the last years - and because of that I have no doubt that "the industry" is catering THEM.

The Whales, that's something different. They're imho a group entirely different from the "average gamer" - although perhaps sometimes overlapping with them.
Alrik you will be surprised a recent study found gamers aged 25 and older are a huge percentage of the game market. Developers and publishers need to stop with the belief only kids and teens play games.

Link-http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_EF_2012.pdf

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March 4th, 2013, 19:15
Thank you. I must say that I'm a bit surprised myself to see that - on the Games Com I never saw them in bigger numbers (the "older generations", I mean).

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March 7th, 2013, 00:25
And now everybody can go back to sleep or learning to read official sources and not just sensationalist snippets.

From EA CFO:
"I made a statement in the conference along the lines of 'We'll have micro-transactions in our games' and the community read that to mean all our games, and that's really not true," he said. "All of our mobile games will have micro-transactions in them, because almost all of them are going to a world where they are play for free."
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March 7th, 2013, 00:29
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
And now everybody can go back to sleep or learning to read official sources and not just sensationalist snippets.

From EA CFO:
"I made a statement in the conference along the lines of 'We'll have micro-transactions in our games' and the community read that to mean all our games, and that's really not true," he said. "All of our mobile games will have micro-transactions in them, because almost all of them are going to a world where they are play for free."
It's funny how EA and the CEO of Crytek always say one thing and yet always somehow mean another a few days later. Astonishing isn't. Get the damage control rolling.

Maybe gaming CEO's should keep there mouth shut and give all the facts when speaking there wouldn't be sensationalist snippets.

Who am I kidding. Thanks for the update anyway.

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Last edited by Couchpotato; March 7th, 2013 at 00:40.
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March 7th, 2013, 02:57
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
It's funny how EA and the CEO of Crytek always say one thing and yet always somehow mean another a few days later. Astonishing isn't. Get the damage control rolling.

Maybe gaming CEO's should keep there mouth shut and give all the facts when speaking there wouldn't be sensationalist snippets.

Who am I kidding. Thanks for the update anyway.
I read the transcript of that presentation and it was about F2P games and the new back end. There was no doubts about what EA was talking about here. He also never said "we will to put microtransaction in all our games" directly. That quote was achieved by gluing two different quotes together.

Here are the two quotes in question:
"I think, ultimately, those microtransactions will be in every game, but
the game itself or the access to the game will be free," he said.
This one is about (mobile) games in general, this is the market trend that EA analysts see.

"So, to the extent that as [EA CTO Rajat Taneja] said, 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."
The second quote just mean more DLCs for everyone!

The cluster that happened was caused by "gaming journalist" not giving a shit about accurately reporting things and now EA looks like they are doing damage control when they are just repeating what was said in a closed door presentation.
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