EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II

Eurogamer.net notes that Electronic Arts Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen commented further on the microtransaction controversy in Star Wars Battlefront II during yesterday's Credit Suisse Annual Technology, Media & Telecom Conference. This situation has provoked so many negative stories (as recently as yesterday) that it's hard to believe the action game sequel came out under two weeks ago. Though the company suspended microtransactions based on the pay-to-win outrage from many fronts (possibly including IP owner Disney itself), Jorgensen says they are still hoping to add them back into the game. They quote him as saying "We're not giving up on the notion of MTX [microtransactions]," because they are looking at "layering in another economic model to try and make up for some of the economics you lose" by not selling DLC. They offer more of his statements on the controversy:
"We're really watching how people are playing the game. We're trying to understand are there certain modes where MTX may be more interesting than not? What are the consumers saying about it? How are the consumers playing the game? What do the metrics look like? We're learning and listening to the community to decide how best to roll that out in the future."

How did EA fail to see the loot box problem coming? "We did some testing around the MTX model but not enough to really understand some of the reactions we ultimately got," Jorgensen said. There were bigger concerns at the time such as the beta working with millions of people playing.

"We pulled-off on the MTX because the real issue the consumer had was they felt it was a pay-to-win mechanic," he added. "The reality is: there's different types of players in games. Some people have more money than time, and some people have more time than money, and you want to always balance those two.

"For us it's a great learning experience. We are trying to run the company with an ear to the consumer at all times, not only in the testing phase but when the game is up and running. We're trying to build games that last for years, not for months... If we're not making mistakes along the way and learning from them, that's when you should worry about us. But our view is these are great opportunities for us to continue to tune the game, to adjust things."
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Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II
Nov 30, 2017, 13:58
Re: EA Still Wants Microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II Nov 30, 2017, 13:58
Nov 30, 2017, 13:58
Flatline wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 17:02:
Devinoch wrote on Nov 29, 2017, 14:58:
Sure, and you could charge the $90-100 you would need to be profitable with such a game (considering development costs these days), and no one would buy it, or, conversely, you could make the game cost significantly less and people would bitch about how the graphics aren't up to snuff, and no one would buy it.

At the number of units that EA pushes of the Battlefront games, I doubt that profitability is an issue at a 60-70 dollar price point. If there is an issue with profitability, then it's EA's fault for entering into an ass-reamingly expensive license to create Star Wars games. And if that's the case, that's just bad business being passed onto the consumer.

It has nothing to do with the license and everything to do with the cost of developing a AAA game in the first place. Go look at any AAA game made in the last five years, load up the credits, and take a look at exactly how many people are working on any one project. Then extrapolate that those people probably spent between 18-36 months working on that game, and take a rough ballpark of what the human development cost is for a game.

People underestimate the cost to make a game these days by a long shot.
Cliff "Devinoch" Hicks
Host of the Starlight Society Podcast
Nov 30, 2017Nov 30 2017
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