It’s starting to look like this whole “free-to-play” thing might be sticking around. EA has announced a deal with Aeria Games, publisher of Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine and WolfTeam, to bring EA’s selection of free-to-play games to their network. It’s going to start with Battlefield Heroes and continue with Need for Speed World, bringing EA’s Play4Free games to an even wider audience.
“Distribution of Battlefield Heroes on Aeria Games’ Network is a natural next step as we expand the Play4Free brand,” said Sean Decker, Vice President of EA’s Play4Free brand. “Aeria Games is a frontrunner in the free-to-play games business and our titles will benefit tremendously as they reach the ever-growing global market.”
While this is good news for Aeria's millions of fans, it's still a little strange considering EA's recent push towards relying on Origin for all of their digital distribution needs. Valve recently began adding free-to-play games to Steam, and it would make sense for EA to start fully-integrating their own F2P offerings into Origin to stay competitive, instead of throwing them onto other publishers' websites (they made their free software available through BigPoint's website a few months ago, too). Then again, they're allowed to be a little less strict when it comes to free-to-play games, because most of the in-game transactions happen from within the client, instead of through the portal.
Sep 21, 2011