Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen, speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, has said that EA’s upcoming console titles will all be making use of microtransactions in future.
During a speech at the event he said “The next and much bigger piece [of the business] is microtransactions within games. 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, and consumers are enjoying and embracing that way of the business.”
Whether “consumers are enjoying and embracing that way of the business” in the home console sphere is debatable but Jorgensen was speaking to investors and not gamers when he made that comment. The move will no doubt be attractive to investors but EA risks considerable gamer backlash if they implement the microtransaction model ineptly.
Electronic Arts has been making use of the microtransaction model extensively in their mobile games, such as The Simpsons: Tapped Out, and recently introduced to the concept to new PC and console release Dead Space 3. Hopefully the implementation in living-room console games follows the model put forward by Dead Space 3, where microtransaction purchases were completely optional and were not a requirement to get the full gaming experience. The most vocal gamers may not be happy about it but they’ll likely accept this scenario.