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EA's free-to-play brand reaches 25M users

EA's free-to-play brand reaches 25M users

January 12, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

Electronic Arts' Play4Free line of online titles, which includes microtransaction-based games like Battlefield Heroes and Need for Speed World, has reached 25 million active players worldwide.

The Play4Free brand complements EA's social games on Facebook, offering free-to-play experiences on PCs for the company's core-targeted franchises -- the company says the growing freemium gaming category is a key component in its strategy to "reinvent itself as a leader in digital gaming."

Its biggest successes in that plan so far are Battlefield Heroes and Need for Speed World, which both reached some 10 million registered users each this month. EA's Battlefield Play4Free, Dragon Age Legends, Battleforge, and Lord of Ultima have 5 million players total.

The publisher says it's been able to grow Play4Free's userbase by deploying "regular content updates, rewards, and giveaways" for its titles. It also intends to add two more title to the family soon: Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances and Warhammer Online: Wrath Of Heroes.

EA is facing increased competition from other Western companies joining the core-targeted freemium space, like Valve with Team Fortress 2, Ubisoft with its forthcoming Ghost Recon Online, and a number of publishers producing free-to-play MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) titles.

"Developing a community of 25 million players is a remarkable achievement," says EA's Play4Free VP Sean Decker. "It is a testament to the explosive growth of the free-to-play market and a reflection of EA's commitment to spearheading the digital transformation."

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