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Electronic Arts is reiterating something we've known all along: they love money. The company has a pipeline of games in the work for each of their major franchises to go free-to-play, and even the games that aren't free-to-play will still offer some kind of online option, something that was discussed earlier this year.
Before, when the comments were made that every single one of EA's games would have microtranctions, there was an uproar and some backtracking that had to be made, even though Cliffy B stopped oogling over his Lamborghini long enough to run to the internets and save EA.
However, my belief is that what is said first is always what is most true, and in this case EA's original statements seem to mirror what Peter Moore recently spoke to Engadget [via GI.biz] about, regarding their plans to bring on more free-to-play games and enabling all their games to have some form of online functionality.
According to Moore...
"The ability for you to be able to interact with those franchises on a free-to-play basis is going to be part-and-parcel with every major franchise we do now,"
This, however, does not mean that every single one of their games will be made free-to-play, simply that every franchise will have a free-to-play spinoff of sorts. The $60 retail bracket of the market is just too lucrative for EA to pass up, which is why the free-to-play version of Battlefield is still running strong while Battlefield 4 is scheduled to release this fall.
The company also further proves their intentions with stuff like Heroes of Dragon Age for mobile devices; a quick way to cash-in on casual gamers, no doubt. Not only is Heroes of Dragon Age free-to-play but it's also being made for that oh-so-lucrative mobile market.
Moore goes on to explain that their games are also designed to keep everyone connected. Offline play for gamers who enjoy the isolation of interactive entertainment is no longer an option, just as EA's president of labels Frank Gibeau noted last year around this time, as reported by Shacknews. Moore stated that...
"We don't ship a game at EA that is offline," ... "It just doesn't happen. And gamers either want to be connected so their stats and achievements reflect who they are, or you want the full multiplayer experience on top of that. We don't deliver offline experiences anymore."
Just as a refresher... Gibeau eventually backtracked on his comments about not green-lighting any game that didn't have some form of online mode, but his original sentiment is still burned into the crevices of digital history, in which the president of labels stated that...
"We are very proud of the way EA evolved with consumers. I have not green lit one game to be developed as a single-player experience,"
So there you have it folks. EA is just going ahead with their original plans. All that backtracking they talked about was just fluff. It's still good 'ole EA.
With all that said: beware of the $60 fee-to-play games. I'm sure they'll play a big role at many AAA publishers during this next-generation of gaming.