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EA backtracks on recent microtransactions comments
EA backtracks on recent microtransactions comments
March 6, 2013 | By Mike Rose

March 6, 2013 | By Mike Rose
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    18 comments
More: Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing



Electronic Arts CFO Blake J. Jorgensen has backtracked on comments he made last week, stating that all future EA games will in fact not always include microtransactions.

As part of a talk at the Morgan Stanley Technology Media & Telecom Conference, Jorgensen previously stated, "We're building into all of our games the ability to pay for things along the way."

However, at the 2013 Wedbush Transformational Technology Conference this week, Jorgensen further explained this statement.

"I made a statement in the conference along the lines of 'We'll have microtransactions in our games,' and the community read that to be 'all games,' and that's really not true," he said.

Jorgensen noted that it will, in fact, be every future mobile game from EA that includes microtransactions. "All of our mobile games will have microtransactions in them, because almost all of our mobile games are going to a world where its play-for-free," he added.

"We were discussing back-office capabilities inside the company, and how we've built a platform to really be able to bring in-house our ability to do credit card processing, digital downloads, and manage a world in which there are more and more microtransactions as part of what we offer," he said.

When it comes to console and PC games, Jorgensen explained that he doesn't see EA's offerings as microtransactions -- rather, he says they are extensions of the main game.

"You're going to see extensions off of products like Battlefield Premium which are simply not microtransactions," he said.

"They are premium services, or additional add-on products or download that we're doing... it is essentially an extension of the gameplay that allows someone to take a game that they might have played for a thousand hours, and play it for two thousand hours. We want to ensure that consumers are getting value."

He finished, "The real core microtransaction component of our business is in the mobile part of the business, which is the free-to-play business."


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Comments


Kujel Selsuru
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Sounds like the gamer outcry was enough to make them think twice, that still doesn't change the fact that EA has a very bad rep for a reason.

Sean Monica
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^ nail on the head sir.
I was thinking this after reading the last article. Since the gaming communities across platforms and pc have started to raise their voices in the world I was just waiting for EA to make a move. I'm glad to see however that they do have some ears to the world. Even if it is just hunting for more profit.

Lewis Wakeford
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EA are like a parody of a "big evil company" from a cartoon. Except they exist.

Nicholas Lovell
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@Lewis

Can you define evil for me? Kills small children in their beds? Sells products known to cause cancer with extensive mass market advertising campaigns? Sells cattle prods to regimes known to use them on human prisoners?

Or makes games which allows people who wish to to spend more money on things that they want. Ah, yes. That must be the definition.

Jacob Germany
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"Or makes games which allows people who wish to to spend more money on things that they want."

I think you meant:

"Or makes games which compels people to wish to spend more money on things that they already bought."

Biff Johnson
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@ Jacob.

No. Micro-transactions are a choice by the consumer. ME3 has lots of them. I choose not to utilize them. It doesn't make a company truly evil. Folks throw that around too easily. If truth be told, we're ALL evil to some extent or another. ...but this is the wrong forum for that discussion.

Micro-transactions are good business. It continues to bring money in and continues to make a game profitable. If you play a game that's "free to play" with the option to buy gear to attain it quicker or whatever why not drop 50-60 bucks when you probably would have done that to buy a standard retail game anyways? Why is that "evil".

Granted, EA has done some very shifty things that have nothing to do with MT's. The whole fake demonstrators routine they pulled a few years ago is testimony to that.. >:\

Adam Bishop
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Cigarettes are a consumer choice too, that doesn't make the people selling them blameless.

Biff Johnson
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...

we're talking about microtransactions... not genetic mutilating substances.

And thus Nicholas's point. Perspective.

Kyle Redd
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@Nicholas

The big evil companies in cartoons never killed small children, sold cancer-causing products, or tortured anyone. They were comically evil, not actually evil. I think we all understand what Lewis meant.

Adam Bishop
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Obviously microtransactions aren't literally cigarettes. My point is that "consumer choice" is not a get-out-of-jail-free card for a company knowingly engaging in harmful behaviour, which many people argue at least some microtransactions are.

Nicholas Lovell
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It doesn't change much. He's really just challenging the phrase "microtransactions". All EA businesses will use the initial game to start a relationship with their customers and then offer them ways to spend more money within that game.

Whether they are "micro" or use existing F2P mechanics remains to be seen, but the principle is sound.

Jonathan Jennings
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my thoughts Exactly Nicholas he didn't state that they weren't going to have several " game extensions" for upcoming titles, he merely stated that they are not really micro transactions ....just game extensions. it's all in the name apparently lol

Rob Wright
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The original statement -- "We're building into all of our games the ability to pay for things along the way." -- appears to have been either a massive flub or a trial balloon to see how the community reacted.

Personally, I loathe when executives pass these kinds of comments off as "the public misconstrued what I said." Why can't he just say "My bad, I wasn't clear with my previous statement, sorry."

Martin Bell
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They don't get to be where they are by being nice...

A W
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So the clarification is, Yes we are going to sell you extra stuff or locked content in every EA game we make. It is just whether the definition of that sale is called a micro-transaction or not.

Ron Dippold
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Oh yeah, WE totally misread that. Our bad. When you said "all of our games" we failed to see the nuance there. Don't we feel silly now!

Biff Johnson
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"We're building into all of our games the ability to pay for things along the way."

Key word there is "Ability". That is not mandate that there WILL be.

This is the direction of the industry as a whole. Find another past time for a couple of years and stop buying their product. Send an intelligent e-mail explaining why and eventually, they'll get the message.

Just like writing your Government Rep. (titles vary depending on your country. ;) )

Travis Griggs
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I find it comical that people actually care about this...Let me make an analogy to bread. I buy nature's own honey 7-grain oat. It cost 49cents more than nature's own white bread. Do I go calling them evil for charging me more for a product that obviously has more? Companies do this in every facet, there are 3 different choices of gas all with varying price points.

Regardless of what anyone says, Consumer Choice is paramount, you don't have to pay the extra money, you can just get the white bread and be happy you have bread.


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