Dead Space 3 had microtransactions built in for its crafting system in the game’s single-player mode. The addition was somewhat unprecedented, and hints at what the company will seek to do going forward, according to CFO Blake Jorgensen.
“The next and much bigger piece [of the business] is microtransactions within games,” he revealed. “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.”
“We’ve got to have a very strong back-end to make sure that we can operate a business like that. If you’re doing microtransactions and you’re processing credit cards for every one of those microtransactions, you’ll get eaten alive,” he added. “And so Rajat’s [Taneja, EA Global CTO] team has built an amazing back-end to be able to manage that and manage it much more profitably. We’ve outsourced a lot of that stuff, historically. We’re bringing that all in-house now.”
Jorgensen also spoke to the theory that the company wasn’t as interested in the PS4. “At the end of the day, we’re very excited about Sony’s platform. We think there’s a huge opportunity. It’s great, as Rajat said, the technical power on the platform is going to allow us to do a substantial amount of things that we’ve never done before. I’ve seen the new Battlefield and it is stunning.”
Additionally, Jorgensen denied that EA was down on Sony’s heavy focus on downloads. “At the end of the day, we do think there’s going to be more digital business and digital download business. But a lot of it will depend on when we release titles, when Sony and Microsoft choose to release titles. And in no way do we want to see the retail channel disappear. We think that’s an important part of the overall industry and we want to keep that a vibrant channel for us long term as well. So it’s balancing all of those. But 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.”