EA clarifies microtransactions comments

Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen has clarified comments he made last week regarding microtransactions in EA games, stating that he was referring to tools that allow easy access for the developer.

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Last week, Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen raised some Internet ire by suggesting that all future EA-published games will have microtransactions. The executive has now clarified his comments, saying he wasn't claiming each game will have them but rather that each game can have them.

Speaking today at the Wedbush Technology Conference in New York, Jorgensen said that he was referring to in-house technology from EA that will allow its developers to handle credit card processing and digital downloads in-house, reports Polygon.

"I made a statement in the conference along the lines of 'We'll have micro-transactions in our games' and the community read that to mean all our games, and that's really not true," he said. He did note that all of its mobile games going forward will have microtransactions, "because almost all of them are going to a world where they are play for free." He called mobile the "real core" of its microtransaction strategy.

For non-mobile games, Jorgensen says the strategy is to extend the game's life, which might involve microtransactions, downloadable content, or services like Battlefield Premium. "It allows someone to take a game that maybe they played for 1,000 hours and play it for 2,000 hours," he said. "We are very conscious that we don't want to make consumers feel like they're not getting value. We want to make sure consumers are getting value."

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  • reply
    March 6, 2013 7:30 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, EA clarifies microtransactions comments.

    Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen has clarified comments he made last week regarding microtransactions in EA games, stating that he was referring to tools that allow easy access for the developer.

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      March 6, 2013 8:03 AM

      Man, this is what the industry thinks we all are; a bunch of lemmings.

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        March 6, 2013 8:08 AM

        I wish they'd make another Lemmings. I'd play it, even with microtransactions.

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          March 6, 2013 8:13 AM

          +1 ....

          Unless Randy Pitchford is involved.

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          March 6, 2013 8:22 AM

          Not so much into Lemmings but I'd love to see a modern take on The Adventures of Lomax, a Lemmings spin-off.

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          March 6, 2013 10:36 AM

          Someone should create an indie Lemmings satire where you control a horde of neckbeards outside Gamestop by baiting them with beloved franchises.

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          March 6, 2013 11:31 AM

          Get the game "Spirits". It's basically a modern Lemmings.

          http://steamcommunity.com/app/210170

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            March 6, 2013 12:52 PM

            Huh, interesting! Thanks, I'll check it out!

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            March 6, 2013 1:05 PM

            I didn't enjoy the game as much as lemmings personally. I actually just went back and played lemmings and lemmings 2 in an emulator =X

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          March 6, 2013 1:04 PM

          1 penny per lemming.

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        March 6, 2013 8:11 AM

        The industry Any industry. Most of the time they're right.

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      March 6, 2013 8:04 AM

      [deleted]

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      March 6, 2013 9:06 AM

      Okay, EA, then please explain the microtransactions in Dead Space 3's single-player campaign, and in the new server-based SimCity. Even if Jorgensen was pkaying to the investors at that conference, there has been a new precedent set in at least 2 released non-mobile titles.

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        March 6, 2013 9:10 AM

        what's to explain? he said future games can have them, meaning, most probably will. it's not some dirty secret. EA games are going to have microtransactions.

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          March 6, 2013 9:17 AM

          Yeah; he just didn't use adequately evasive wording at the last conference. The exact quote from the Morgan Stanley conference:

          "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."

          "All of our games." EEEEEV-ERYYYYY-OOOOOONEah!... oopsie, should've used "can" instead of "are".

          The investor conferences are the ones that the publishers really want to go into with as much of a rosy picture as possible, but wish that gaming press could be barred from attending.

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        March 6, 2013 9:12 AM

        There is absolutely nothing in Dead Space 3 that is required in terms of DLC.

        I honestly feel like the whining is over nothing: EA is doing the same shit that everyone else is doing. If you want to complain about EA, complain about the fact that they fucking ruined Bioware and Bullfrog (among others).

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          March 6, 2013 9:23 AM

          Having a big "buy stuff!" button in a single-player campaign is disgusting to the artform, especially when it's not couched in the fiction. Everyone doing something disgusting doesn't make it any less disgusting. Also, not everyone is doing it.

          Games weren't marketplaces until in-app purchases got pushed hard by marketing teams without analyzing the social consequences (see The Daily Show: TapFish). It's like any other medium-term market trend that pushes hard until it flames out and burns up.

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            March 6, 2013 9:28 AM

            Disgusting to the artform? I think that is an overreach.

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              March 6, 2013 9:52 AM

              Some gamers take the sanctity of the single-player campaign morr seriously than most others.

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                March 6, 2013 11:34 AM

                You're off your rocker if you think anything about games is sacred.

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                  March 6, 2013 12:09 PM

                  So if Battlefield 4 constantly has "Buy the Carl Gustav for $4!" popups, you'd be okay with that?

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                    March 6, 2013 12:11 PM

                    nobody is forcing you to buy anything

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                      March 6, 2013 12:12 PM

                      (if you don't like how a company makes and sells games do not buy their games)

                      (this is your option)

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                    March 6, 2013 12:20 PM

                    Not if it didn't actually affect the quality of the game. For example Dead Space 3 is built exactly like if none of that shit was there and it plays fine without any of it.

                    More to the point though, that has nothing to do with anything about games being sacred. I could not like something about how a game is designed and I can express that but if I start claiming that they've messed with some "sacred" part of game design then I, too, would be fucking off my rocker.

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                    March 6, 2013 12:58 PM

                    Battlefield Heroes, yo.

                    http://www.battlefieldheroes.com/en/createHeroSignup?

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                      March 6, 2013 1:27 PM

                      Okay, that's free-to-play. I'm saying that putting a "Buy stuff" button in $60 retail games detracts from the value proposition of that game, and is insulting. Could there still be "$60 of game" in the $60 game? Some players of Dead Space 3 say "yes". But at the end of the day, there's still a cheezy "BUY BUY BUY!!" button in a $60 game, and it makes it look as pandering as a Zynga game. Parts of the aspects of reviewing a game, or of previewing for a potential purchase, are now thrown to the winds of capitalism. That's what I'm getting at when I say "sanctity".

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                        March 6, 2013 1:41 PM

                        Having the ability to purchase additional content in a game is the natural evolution of map packs, expansion packs, and their like. Now, instead of having to go to a store and buy a boxed copy, you can purchase the additional content directly from the game and it is delivered and put into play immediately.

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                          March 6, 2013 1:43 PM

                          Not the stuff in DS3. That has no relation to classic expansion packs and whatnot.

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                          March 6, 2013 1:43 PM

                          False. Horse Armor.

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                        March 6, 2013 2:53 PM

                        So don't buy it. Just, don't. Wait for someone else to meet your market need of a FPS game that doesn't suck.

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                    March 6, 2013 1:53 PM

                    The fuck are you talking about dude? Is this a fantasy? There is no EA game that treats DLC like this.

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                      March 6, 2013 2:02 PM

                      The closest thing is DS3 but honestly I think that game handles the situation remarkably well.

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                      March 6, 2013 2:32 PM

                      It's archvile man. You know. You know

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                      March 6, 2013 2:43 PM

                      [deleted]

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                      March 6, 2013 2:48 PM

                      Dragon Age was kind of annoying with this in that one camp near the end of the game. Some dude constantly had a quest marker on him that gave you a link to a store to buy the DLC for his mission. Not a big deal but still takes you out of the game, especially when it's a fantasy RPG.

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              March 6, 2013 10:14 AM

              His statement doesn't seem off-base to me at all

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              March 6, 2013 10:34 AM

              It's not.

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              March 6, 2013 10:37 AM

              I want the campaign free of real world bullshit. That's the whole fucking point of having an escapist experience.

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              March 6, 2013 11:27 AM

              Take into account who is posting that.

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              March 6, 2013 1:42 PM

              In this case it apparently lead to the late-game redesign of the ammo system and had other fairly significant effects to better fit the microtransactions as well, so it may well fit in the case of Dead Space 3.

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                March 6, 2013 2:05 PM

                The ammo system was due to the crafting element, not the microtransaction system necessarily.

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                  March 6, 2013 2:30 PM

                  While no dev has come out and said it with their name attached, that's not what's been circulating online the past few weeks.

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                    March 6, 2013 2:37 PM

                    Based on actually playing the game, there's nothing about the ammo system that seemed related to microtransactions. It seemed entirely related purely to crafting. I don't even think you can buy ammo.

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                      March 6, 2013 2:57 PM

                      That's next week!

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                      March 6, 2013 3:00 PM

                      You can buy the stuff to make ammo. But really, my guess is the entire resource scrounging aspect was done purely as a way to justify an in game shop of that sort.

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                        March 6, 2013 3:08 PM

                        Considering how well it's done, I wouldn't jump to that conclusion at all. It feels more like the shop was tacked on than the crafting system.

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        March 6, 2013 2:59 PM

        What microtransactions are there in SimCity? I haven't seen anything in the game asking me to spend money, aside from the optional "special edition" upgrade.

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      March 6, 2013 9:24 AM

      so they are gonna make sure every game CAN have them?

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      March 6, 2013 9:31 AM

      For non-mobile games, Jorgensen says the strategy is to extend the game's life, which might involve microtransactions, downloadable content, or services like Battlefield Premium

      Or let us mod your games. SimCity 4 is how old now?

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        March 6, 2013 9:54 AM

        obviously when a developer or publisher talks about extending a game's life they mean in a way that's useful to them, ie still generating income

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          March 6, 2013 10:24 AM

          Extending a game's life cycle benefits them regardless of whether there's micro trans. If a game has a wealth of free updates or has the ability for players to make mods, I'm going to remember this when they make a new title and will be more likely to drop $60 on that before I buy another game that wants to micro me to death.

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            March 6, 2013 12:33 PM

            [deleted]

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              March 6, 2013 1:37 PM

              Ok. But if a person doesn't want free additional content, why would they want additional content they have to pay for?

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      March 6, 2013 10:13 AM

      The value of micro transactions needs to change. I've seen far too many F2P mobile games where the benefit you get from your $5 is mostly worthless. In some cases even $15-20 is not providing enough extra value to keep me playing much longer. There needs to be some kind of base formula where spending $x either lets me do something I can't normally do, that maybe makes the game simpler, but not necessarily easier - or the very least doesn't break the game. Or allow me to extend my enjoy of the game; like he says in the article about doubling the time you'd normally spend with a game -- and I mean total time, not this crap about $5 to recharge your energy to tap the screen a few times one day.

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        March 6, 2013 10:44 AM

        the value of microtransactions are determined by the people... if enough people are willing to pay for something the price will stay. it uses the same supply and demand theory as anything else. as long as their predetermined projections are being met, you won't see prices changing.

        i would like to see some surveys to see how many % of poeple buy customizations and DLCs...

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          March 7, 2013 3:41 AM

          And that is the problem; people are stupid.

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        March 6, 2013 12:18 PM

        That "spending money to do something I can't normally do" is the line that I am afraid of. Not only is it unfair to anyone paying $60 for a game, but it probably lead to breaking a game in a design stage.

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      March 6, 2013 11:59 AM

      1. Say what he means
      2. Backtrack
      3. Does exactly what 1. says
      4. Profit!

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      March 6, 2013 4:45 PM

      How about this EA fix the issues with your games first then we will talk about buying DLC. The launch of Simcity so far was a nightmare because of your games as a service model.

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