The free-to-play business model integrated in several games today may be scrutinised and criticised by many, but EA's mobile gaming head Nick Earl believes the amount of consumers who do support the freemium system within their games with in-game purchases speaks for itself as one of the reasons the company is focusing on this direction.
"The market has spoken very loudly that that's the model they like," Earl said in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz. "Even though there's some vocal minority that don't like it, ultimately the numbers would show that they and others all support the freemium model better."
The example Earl used was EA's recently released Real Racing 3, which upset some gamers for its heavy emphasis on in-app purchases. Earl noted that while the game's freemium model got plenty of vocal criticism online, it also got four-and-a-half star average customer reviews on iTunes with nearly 40,000 people having rated the title.
"I think initially they were a little bit annoyed because the all-you-can-eat model makes sense for them," Earl said. "That's the kind of people they are. But at the end of the day, they're going to pay to eat, if that's their choice. And they're happy doing it."
While EA strives to balance reception of the model, Earl notes you can't please everyone: "At the end of the day you kind of have to look at real numbers. The old proverb, 'You can't please all the people all the time' is just so true."
By Nathan Misa