All Future EA Games Will Implement Microtransactions

Feb 27, 2013 by  

Electronic Arts Microtransactions Future

Allowing players to design their own weaponry piece-by-piece, Dead Space 3′s weapons crafting system made the game pliable for an arsenal wider — and crazier — than any in the series. Adding an electric machete or flamethrower attachment to Issac Clarke’s (or John Carver’s) conventional hardware was simply a matter of ingenuity, matching, and prudent resource management.

Or wiring real-world cash to the game. A major source of controversy surrounding Dead Space 3′s crafting interface was its evergreen option to purchase resources through microtransactions. Essentially, anyone who craved the game’s most advanced and, normally, most elusive firepower had the ability to acquire it financially from the get-go.

It’s an underlying gameplay model that publisher Electronic Arts now plans to build into each of its future titles. Speaking this week at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, EA chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen announced that microtransactions were going to be “the next and much bigger piece” of the company’s business.

“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.

“Consumers are enjoying and embracing that way of the business.”

According to Jorgenson, EA has outsourced the design duties for microtransaction systems to outside companies in the past. As the model becomes a unified staple of the publisher, however, EA will be handling it all “in-house” going forward — a decision made easier by the continual evolution of digital downloading:

“Without a doubt, you’re going to see more digital business and particularly more digital components of the gameplay allowed because the ease of it will be much better and the storage capability better.”

Dead Space 3 was hardly EA’s first foray into microtransactions; between purchasing credits in Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, unlocking every weapon in Battlefield 3 and assembling a squad of Hall of Fame talent in Madden’s Ultimate Team, the publisher hasn’t been shy about tethering gameplay incentives to real-money purchases. The game was rare, however, in the sense that payments became a potential driver of the core experience. Forget co-op, combat rolls and high-octane action tarnishing the Dead Spaceseries’s survival-horror sanctity. The Necromorph threat could be defused by cold hard cash.

EA Microtransactions Every Game

Despite their presence, though, microtransactions didn’t diminish the Dead Space 3 experience for gamers who chose to ignore them. Our own Anthony Taormina was able to enjoy the weapons crafting system on its own merits in his Dead Space 3 review, and the game never featured any insurmountable obstacle that would have pressured players into feeding it more funds.

But just how light will their gaming footprint be in five years? On next-generation platforms that, as Jorgenson alluded to, are liable to make digital transactions more seamless than ever? It’s hard to imagine that EA would adopt the microtransaction schema as company policy only to limit its use to side-features, to every game’s weapon-crafting equivalent. How far should games go in rewarding advantages — the perks and skills and unlocks once exclusively acquired through grit and gumption — to high-paying customers?

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Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.

Source: Seeking Alpha [via Eurogamer]

29 Comments

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  1. “Consumers are enjoying and embracing that way of the business.”

    which consumers are these? I don’t know any gamers that wish to spend extra money to make the game easier, this surely cheapens the experience. Where is the sense of satisfaction that is at the core of gaming pleasure.

    Heading in this direction really concerns me about the future of gaming. It seems like a slippery slope toward a pay2win system. It’s a very fine line to tread to get this right and I really don’t see any benefit to the consumer other than costing us more money to enjoy an experience we have already paid for. What’s wrong with cheat codes to get the best weapons early?

    • guess they didnt year the uproar when these were announced with dead space 3 XD idiots.

    • it really isn’t a good sign of things to come. It just furthers the truth that EA really is the worst company in america

  2. Note how no one is surprised by this latest EA move

  3. WHY DONT THEY JJUST GO FREE TO PLAY?

    i swear, if i have to but each team in fifa im going to be p****d.

  4. All EA games To Be Not Purchased By Majority of Gamers

    • Sadly, I’ll be among the idiots that purchase their games. Battlefield, Dead Space, Mass Effect, Dragon Age… people have their strong opinions about each franchise and I’m not entirely satisfied with how they’ve handled them but I have to admit EA has me by the balls. I just can’t say no to those games.

      • You can when they become flavorless gruel, indistinguishable from one another.

        • Help me…

  5. This is in line with their future plans of having all of their studios’ legal histories include bankruptcy filings.

    • lol

  6. I think if this is done properly then it isn’t a problem. By properly I mean everything you can buy must be available naturally through the game otherwise. They don’t manipulate difficulties so that you need the best weapons or cars whatever, that is ni single player AND multiplayer, I hate playing multiplayer games such as battlefield 3 which I recently started again and losing right at the beginning due to others having better weapons. Part of gaming so I get on with it, but if these guys had those weapons on day 1…now that would bug me. I prefer this tool to the online pass model but sadly both will probably get used. Unfortunately since this is EA I really doubt this will be employed in a fair way to consumers, they already killed off Mass Effect for me, please stop ruining all the other great game series you own

  7. What exactly is a microtransaction?

    Do you mean paying, say, 80 Microsoft points for a huge ammunition pack?

    • it means things that should be in the game are not and you will need to pay for them like a gun or whatever, its really bad.

      • That isn’t true. That is what we all hope doesn’t happen however a microtransaction is paying a small amount of points for an item available in the game and obtainable by other means, however you get it early by paying. This use to happen in the need for speed games, you could get any car or upgrades early but it didn’t break the game because if you played the game as you did all the previous games you got all the cars without spending your money. It’s when they do things like charging for an ammo pack just before a boss that is a problem, because they will stop giving out ammo in that area to force players to purchase the ammo pack

  8. “All Future EA Games Will Implement Microtransactions.”

    Read: All future EA games will not be on Steam because EA is a money-grubbing, player-screwing travesty of a company, ready to sacrifice in an instant a positive player experience for a quick buck through their awful Origin platform.

  9. Simple solution, don’t buy any micro-transactions. Unless the game is gimped without it or it’s stuff that should be in the game, I could care less. I agree with someone above, what happened to cheat codes? What happened to completing a level or challenge to obtain these items?

    I’ll buy/rent the core game, but screw these micro-transactions, that’s BS.

  10. i didn’t have a problem with EA and their stupidity until they shut down visceral games b/c dead space 3 didn’t sell 50 bazillion copies. it’s bloody disgusting how one group of ignorant money hungry piece of s***s can ruin someones life in the time it takes them to put pen to paper and lift it off the paper >:(

    f*** EA and f*** activision for shoving their tongues up investor’s a**es and not caring about anyone else >:(

    • @jwalka

      Whaat?! They shut down the devs of Dead Space??? I need to look this up now.

    • “Electronic Arts has laid off employees in Los Angeles and Montreal, and reportedly shuttered the Visceral Montreal studio.

      Electronic Arts has confirmed layoffs of employees at its operations in both Los Angeles and Montreal, describing the cuts in a statement as “adjustments to select development teams to align staff and skills against priority growth areas, including new technologies and mobile.” The publisher refused to specify which studios were being closed down but the rumor, cited by multiple sources, is that the Montreal office of Dead Space studio Visceral Games has been closed entirely.

      EA Labels President Frank Gibeau confirmed the cuts in a message rather amazingly entitled “Transition Is Our Friend.” “This week we let some people go in Los Angeles, Montreal as well as in some smaller locations,” he wrote. “These are good people and we have offered outplacement services and severance packages to ease their transition to a new job.”

      We’ll update with further details as they become available.”

      Laid off some employees or shut them down completely? Either way, this is no good.

      • they shut down the studio doing army of two which is the studio that did dead space 3. at first they said they laid off a few staff but then came out and said they axed the whole dev team.

        a little while back someone came out and said that the life of the dev studio depended on dead space 3′s sales, and this is proof.

    • I normally hate everything that you type but this time I completely agree with you. F*** EA. I don’t boycott though, I just buy all the games used. Because while I don’t want EA to have any of my money to do feel the games that the developers make under EA still deserve to be played.

  11. SO is it fair to assume that EA games will be passed out for free at GameStop from now on? No? Well, can we at least lift the profanity ban so that this thread can accurately reflect my feelings?

    The best cheat code effects of all time would be worth money because they were so much fun, and so completely tangential to the primary game experience. This does not sound like that. If it were incentive for the games to offer cheat code style bonus versatility again that would be almost good news, but I expect the worst from this and I am pissed. I don’t want to play Mass Effect and keep seeing advertisements for my credit card number. In summary: **** the ******* ******* for ******* up every ******* ************* ********** thing I ******* like about ******* owning a ************* ******* ***** of **** game with their ******* ************* ******** ******* greedy ******** and ******* gouging us while they ******* make money out the ****** *** at every ******* ************* opportunity. *******!!! ****!!! ****! ********!!!!

    EA can **** my fat ****.

    Boycott.

    • LOL

  12. The only franchise I still had hopes with was SimCity. Oh well, that just made my mind to not buy it. Thank you, come again.

  13. More proof that EA doesn’t give two shits about fans and only cares about money. More of a reason for me to continue only buying their games used.

    • They are a publisher not a developer, of course they don’t care about their fans. You will struggle to find a publisher who does in this market

  14. As if EA was not despised enough amoung gamers.

  15. I didn’t think that EA would actually stoop lower than they already were, but I guess I was wrong. Thanks for completely ignoring the consumer.

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