Electronic Arts is looking into emerging gaming fields like free-to-play and mobile as much as they are AAA blockbuster titles. According to EA Games label head Frank Gibeau, F2P games can be just as profitable as any major retail release.
“We’re aggressively investing in things that are very low cost like free-to-play. The free-to-play group inside of EA Games is growing extremely fast – we’ve got 17 million users,” said Gibeau. “Frankly when they get to scale, have huge audiences, are very profitable, they’re not cannibalizing the main games and they actually reach markets that we’re not currently serving. With Need for Speed World, Russia and Brazil are number one and two – the Ukraine is in there too. I can’t sell packaged goods in those territories.
“But I’m reaching an audience with Need for Speed content,” added Gibeau, “noting there are five million registered users of Need For Speed World. It’s an engine that’s not as advanced as Frostbite 2 but it’s certainly got great production values and great game designs, and it’s free-to-play with micro-transactions. It’s a very exciting time from our perspective because it’s not all about consoles. It’s about smartphones, tablets, free-to-play, browser, social.”