Video game developer EA Sports says that it is ready to move its entire stable of sports-based franchises towards a free-to-play model in the coming year, allowing players to use microtransactions in order to get the content they want.
Andrew Wilson, who is leader of the EA Sports
label, has told Gamasutra that, “We've been in Asia now for about six years with FIFA a free-to-play experience. All of our iOS games through this year are headed in that direction.”
“Our social games are headed in that direction. But right now gamers are telling us is that there is still a very rich and very robust premium business on console. And that that business model works very well for them today,” he went on to say.
He added, “We've seen that delivering great products and services in FIFA, and focusing on the customer, gameplay and services, means you end up with the biggest sports business in the world. We're just trying to do that everywhere. So I think that we heard the feedback, absolutely.”
EA Sports has estimated that microtransactions for FIFA 12, mostly linked to the Ultimate Team game mode, have managed to bring the company no less than 108 million dollars (87.9 million Euro).
The number is expected to increase with the launch of FIFA 13
Wilson has admitted that the company has had some missteps, including one linked to Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13, but he also says that it is learning from all its experiences. Moreover, it is getting ready to create a better way of delivering content to players and allowing them to choose which packages they are interested in paying for.
FIFA 13 is set to introduce a number of improvements to the long-running football simulation franchise, including more situations where players make mistakes and improvements to the way the players interact with the ball and each other.
FIFA 13 will be launched on September 25 in North America and September 28 in Europe.