The people over at EA’s What’s Next Department have gazed long and hard into their crystal balls, consulted the runes, checked their horoscopes, read the tea leaves, and asked their moms, and finally declared that “Freemium is the future”. Who wants to pay for something when they can get it free, and then pay even more for extras than they’d probably have paid for the game in the first place?
“The future is not about one-time payments, the future is about freemium. A decent number of people convert to paying and they may not pay a lot but most of them actually pay more than you’d think,” EA Interactive senior VP Nick Earl told MCV.
A number of high-profile companies – EA’s own Play4Free business included – are already cashing in on the freemium game model for PC, but console is something else altogether. Or is it?
“I don’t know if freemium gets to console but I do know that humans like free stuff. I also know humans who will pay for something if they’ve tried it out and they like it. I’ve wondered if freemium expands beyond the tablet, Facebook and smartphones, and out into consoles? I don’t think it’s impossible for that to happen,” said Earl.
With Sony’s recent acquisition of cloud streaming service Gaikai, it’s obvious the company is thinking hard about its digital distribution options, but whether or not they decide to go into the free-to-play space remains to be seen.