EA Asserts Customers Enjoy Microtransactions

| 27 Feb 2013 13:58
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EA wants to ensure that every one of its games has microtransaction options.

The phrase "majority rules" gets thrown around a lot in democratic societies, but it turns out that the same principle applies to commerce. While many gamer forumites decry the advent of the microtransaction, nothing can staunch the flow of new titles that support it - at least not from Electronic Arts. Microtransactions have been so successful for the large publisher that it wants to include them in every upcoming game. The logic behind the decision is that consumers both want and like this system.

"We are building into all of our games the ability to pay for things along the way; to get to a higher level, to buy a new characters; to buy a truck or gun or whatever it might be," says Blake Jorgensen, EA's CFO. "And consumers are enjoying and embracing that way of business." Consumers have spoken with their wallets regarding microtransactions, but EA has also taken steps to ensure that its own coffers won't take a hit. Whereas credit card transactions were formerly handled by third parties, EA has brought those systems in-house, increasing each purchase's profitability.

For those of you who like microtransactions, this is, of course, good news. Jorgensen's statement certainly sounds as though every EA game will have this option going forward. Otherwise, the purchases are still totally optional, but one wonders what kind of long-term effects this will have on the industry. If a $60 boxed copy plus smaller purchases ad infinitum becomes the new de facto business model, developers could start tweaking game design to accommodate it. The next console generation is going to be an interesting one, either way.

Source: GameSpot

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Microtransactions are a really good business model, if done correctly. I've played World of Tanks exclusively for the last 8 months or so and it featured the best microtransactions I've seen to date. How good? Well, it made me buy stuff, and I never buy stuff in games. A buck here and a buck there saved me a lot of time, giving me the impression that I made a great deal in time saved to play the game MORE. They even had a mobile phone SMS feature which even accounted for the VAT value of my country. I ended up paying about 50 euros in all but felt it was a bargain.

And it was great while it didn't give me an edge in combat, just in how fast I leveled. But unfortunately it didn't last. The premium tanks were too powerful and the premium ammo (too expensive for normal free users, although still available) began to become a bit too necessary. Worse, the top tier tanks lost money without a premium account (50% more credits) so you had to grind the lower tiers for money. Still not bad for a game that plays well at any tier, but... Soon it became clear to me that instead of just releasing more maps, they release more and more unbalanced tanks. Bad move, so I stopped paying, then stopped playing. You can only nerf balanced german tanks so much before fans snap. I didn't have to put up with it.

The lesson here is that no matter how much you bitch about stuff, if you still buy EA's games, and if you still pay more after you buy, you have no right to complain. Try to understand that if you keep giving into this shit, you'll just support an industry which gives you half-finished games and forces you to pay more and more and more for stuff that used to be free. I used to love EA, back in the days of Sim City 4. Now I just ignore their games completely. Take Sim City 5 for example. I would've put up with the DRM (I'm a sailor so 6 months per year I don't have internet), but the new online stuff is just a lie. In a few months you'll pay for metro lines, which should've been there in the first place. You'll pay for bigger maps too. You'll pay for extra regions which you should've been able to terraform yourself. I want to play it... oh you can't believe how much. But not like this. They just bet that it hurts you more than it hurts them.

Little Gray:

Sometimes the truth is harsh.

Except that wasn't truth. That was lashing out at people.

There's a difference.

EA can assert their fists into their own asses. I haven't bought a single shitbox game from these cannibals in years and I damn well don't plan on doing it anytime soon.

This gamer does NOT like microtransactions in every damn game.

Little Gray:

Zachary Amaranth:

Little Gray:

Nobody who is not a complete moron would pay for completely optional micro-transactions if they did not like it.

That's pretty harsh, all things considered.

Sometimes the truth is harsh. You cant say you would not feel the same way if you saw somebody bitching and moaning about say Dead Space 3 micro-transactions and then proceed to spend money on them. Another example would be somebody bitching about Valve selling TF2 hats on their store and then goes and spends money on them.

A complete moron probably... but maybe also a gambler?

Here's a thread from EA's Battlefield Play4Free: a F2P version of Battlefield 2 with microtransactions up the ass.

http://battlefield.play4free.com/en/forum/showthread.php?tid=113541

This guy spent about 60 (around $100) trying to get a single scope for a gun for one of his 4 characters, and because EA made the only way to get this scope through a random drop system, he didn't even get it. Mass Effect 3 had a similar randomised microtransaction item system in place that people have whittled away loads and never got the things they wanted, and the reason they spend so much is because the Skinner box theory EA have based this system off is a highly addicting and dangerous gambling incentive:

(You may have seen this already, but I'll post it here any way because it is very relevant.)

I'm not saying that scope guy linked up there wasn't to blame for his actions, but EA knows that their game design is encouraging exactly this sort of behaviour, and by implementing these random drop systems they will get people basically addicted on paying literally hundreds of dollars to unlock unimportant stuff that they honestly wouldn't even care about otherwise. (not to mention the way in which EA doesn't directly offer the items for money, but you actually have to primarily purchase special currency first of all (called funds), which come generally in large amounts, and then use on your purchases, meaning the actual buying of items is a secondary purchase, and thus people will end up paying for a lot of unused and unwanted funds)

Zachary Amaranth:

Little Gray:

Nobody who is not a complete moron would pay for completely optional micro-transactions if they did not like it.

That's pretty harsh, all things considered.

Sometimes the truth is harsh. You cant say you would not feel the same way if you saw somebody bitching and moaning about say Dead Space 3 micro-transactions and then proceed to spend money on them. Another example would be somebody bitching about Valve selling TF2 hats on their store and then goes and spends money on them.

I am posting a comment that states my disapproval and insinuates whoever or whatever I am angry at is the product of prostitutes copulating with rowdy rapists of the sea!

seriously €A. im amazed that you havent drowned in your own shit yet.
who in the right mind enjoys spending additional money on a game? not for long and you pay for the game, but still have to pay extra to even activate the game, then pay again to actually start the game and pay more to play it.

I don't enjoy micro transactions.

When is this cancer going to be cut out from the industry?

And by cancer I mean EA of course. They cause nothing but problems for everyone.

It seems like everyday I see something on here that makes me glad that I am, for the most part, a retro gamer.

Wow, were the Dead Space 3 microtransactions really all that popular? Oh, wait, it's just EA trying to once again pull imaginary 'facts' out of its ass to justify making more money. EA, we understand that you are a business and you like cash, but please don't treat us like half-wits, alright?

Anyway, I've got a bad feeling about this. Sure I don't think it's justifiable to charge $60 for a new game and then add in MTs, but I guess they don't really affect me at the moment; I don't buy into them and I can still enjoy all a game has to offer. My worry is how EA is going to distort MTs to further leech a standard game of content.
This could become very, very bad if EA pushes the envelope further and further. And I get the feeling they will.

Johnson McGee:
As a person who hates his hobbies, I'm glad EA is taking this stance. For example, when I want to play hockey, I just pay someone to skate around for me, after all, I'm much too busy to score goals myself. I'm glad I'm now able to take the same approach to video games!

At least this brought a smile to my face.

At least EA always makes it easy to boycott their games.

I'm sorry but I can resist.

EA: "Our customers enjoy and embrace micro-transactions."

Kim Jung Un: "Our citizens love living here in North Korea."

I am so glad the indie studios are releasing such good stuff on the PC, because all I am hearing from the bigger devs or publishers lately is "We no longer want your business." The only AAA publishers I still have any faith in at all are Bethesda and CD Projekt (if CDP even count as AAA).

I burried the facepalm so deep in my forehead that whoever can pull it out would be crowned king arthur.

Seriously what the fudge EA?!? I was planning on buying Simcity, but screw you now. I can go without it. Wouldn't want you to think I like the DRM just cause I buy the game. Dead to me, you are.

S1leNt RIP:
My name is S1leNt RIP...and I spent way too much on ME3's multiplayer microtransactions (and the Javik day-one dlc).

I am contributing to the problem.

But I can change.

I MUST!!!

Admitting you have a problem is the first step.

Honestly I've stopped caring what EA does, I don't buy their games, I'm not interested in their IP's, and quite frankly I would rather spend my money elsewhere.

FEichinger:

Well, Actizzard has Always-On, EA has Microtransactions + ALL THE MULTIPLAYERS!, oh and Ubisoft has "Huh? Consistency? What are you talking about?" ... I think they all made their moves by now.

My statement merely means that Activision and Electronic Arts always seem to be trying to top each other in their goal to screw with their customers in one way or another.

Little Gray:

Nobody who is not a complete moron would pay for completely optional micro-transactions if they did not like it.

That's pretty harsh, all things considered.

I agree that they totally shouldn't put micro-transactions on all their future games, but I still don't see the problem with micro-transactions in some games. Look at Dead Space 3, it did micro-transactions really well, so as long as it's implemented like that I have no problem.

EA, you're alright in my books, but don't you dare start doing what MMOs do and start forcing people to continue paying money after they buy the game. You do that, and I will be disapointed, but the way it is right now, I like you guys.

...But seriously don't fucking make me pay for a game every month.

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