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EA manager calls $60 games exploitative

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$60 games are exploitative and free-to-play games are the future, says EA's Easy Studios general manager Ben Cousins. In an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, Cousins said: “I can’t think of anything more exploitative than gating all of your content behind having to pay someone $60. That’s a really harsh business model, if you think about it objectively. What we do is enable everyone to play the game, and figure out if they like it. If they don’t like it, they can walk away and they don’t lose anything.”


Above: Free-to-play games are more popular than ever. But will they ever replace games that you have to buy to play?

Cousins also claimed that games are heading towards a “platform agnostic” future where free multiplayer games like Easy Studios’ own Battlefield Heroes or Battlefield Play4Free will dominate.

Mar 23, 2011

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31 comments

  • RedOutlive10 - March 26, 2011 3:08 p.m.

    That guy is delusional. Battlefield Heroes failed, and I doubt a free to play game will have the same quality of a fully priced one.
  • SideOfBeef - March 24, 2011 11:03 p.m.

    It's not exploitative if $60 games still have $60 of content. It might be unfortunate not to offer alternative degrees of content at a lower price point, but not exploitative since nothing is gained.
  • Balaska - March 24, 2011 5:18 p.m.

    While applaud EA for stepping down from the evil overlord of games, a posistion that Activision now holds, it just feels a bit hollow, EA were pretty much in charge when games started rising to the prices they are now. Oh and for all you Americans out there, the CoD series often comes out here at about £55, $60?? you guys are lucky.
  • flare149 - March 24, 2011 5:38 a.m.

    Free or not, without any depth those games are not worth the most important thing: my time. With a constant stream of AAA titles coming out I can wait till they're $20 to play (occasionally paying the full price for the ones I'm really excited for) and those keep me busy for ages
  • keltar93 - March 24, 2011 1:40 a.m.

    @Jayzilla. Exactly. I think for the PC-based multiplayer stuff it makes sense, but for major single-player experiences, it seems illogical
  • EnragedTortoise1 - March 24, 2011 12:28 a.m.

    Everybody now! HY-PO-CRITES! HY-PO-CRITES! HY-PO-CRITES! HY-PO-CRITES! ...
  • Ravenbom - March 23, 2011 11:41 p.m.

    I doubt free to play games are the wave of the future. The future is already creeping in with Steam and DLC, and games will eventually be DLC-only which will suck a big one because then they can price it any way they choose. For instance: I can buy Beyond Good and Evil HD for the same price as the old, SD versions on Steam and GOG. WTH is up with that? It's complete bullshit. Or, I can pay $12 for Cave Story on Wii (probably $40 for Cave Story 3DS, when it comes out) or get completely free (without pirating) off the internet.
  • codzprc - March 23, 2011 11:31 p.m.

    Haha, Ben Cousins feels bad about overcharging for the horrible games EA develops.
  • coltraven - March 23, 2011 11:22 p.m.

    QQ EA thinks $60 is too much. maybe they should lower the price. australians have to pay double that for a new release game.
  • Zepaw - March 23, 2011 11:21 p.m.

    I never buy a game new. Almost no games are worth $60. Not none, but few. I rent or buy used months later.
  • NappyAfro - March 23, 2011 11:02 p.m.

    "Forcing gamers to pay before they play is a “harsh business model,” says general manager" Isn't that what demo's and game reviews are suppose to be for?
  • NanoElite666 - March 23, 2011 10:40 p.m.

    So if charging $60 is exploitative, how about we knock prices down to somewhere in the $40-$50 range. That way gamers with limited disposable income like myself can afford to get new games a bit more often, and you publishers can still have my money.
  • Austin_SJ - March 23, 2011 10:16 p.m.

    When he says free to play, he means free to get hooked. All the add-ons and other in game purchases can end up costing more that £60.
  • Sinosaur - March 23, 2011 10:13 p.m.

    I remember playing all sorts of free games back when I was a kid and didn't have money for games, but they were just a distraction from the occasional regular, full price (or maybe Greatest Hits) game I could pick up. If anything $60 stopped being a problem for me considering all the games I've picked up since I've started having money and never even finished. Of course, there's something about free to play games where I cannot bring myself to actually pay for any of the extra features they have. I'm usually only having some minimum amount of fun, so clearly for me they make a better investment putting out the $60 games.
  • cart00n - March 23, 2011 10:07 p.m.

    Screw F2P, screw it right in the ear! It's a scam. It's all about "here's a nice place to play. Look at all these fun little toys you can play with. What? Those? No, you don't get to play with THOSE toys unless you give us your credit card number..." $60 is a bit of a joke, too. First of all, Bobby Kotick was the one who rallied everyone else to raise the price from $50. It SORT OF made sense at the time, but with the advent of over-priced DLC, $60 to start with is pretty ridiculous now. That said, I'm much more willing to pay $60 up front for a whole game instead of playing half a game that's constantly trying to sell you on "premium content". When it cost's $70+ for an evening out at the movies, $60 for a AAA experience you can revisit anytime you want does seem like a deal. And then there's Fable 3. Not only is it a sub-par "sequel" (more of a stand-alone expansion to 2 if you ask me) for $60, you also get the lovely experience of listening to John Clease shill paid DLC every other time you decide to check your inventory. On day one of the games release. Classy...
  • Alakasam342 - March 23, 2011 9:58 p.m.

    prime example...MAPLESTORY hundreds of hours on that thing.....Spend a lot of money just to make your character look pretty AND have a massive advantage at getting stronger items.....we're talking hundreds of dollars =O I'll just stick with my 60 dollar games 8D
  • captiancarl - March 23, 2011 9:46 p.m.

    TESTIFY!!!!
  • huntreilly25 - March 23, 2011 8:39 p.m.

    I honestly don't have a problem with a 60$ price tag, especially considering the prices of movies today. If you break it down to a $/hr video games prove to be extremely worth it. and like most others are saying, free2play games are fun at first but there is usually only so far you can go in one before you starting getting beaten by people who have some extra money lying around. Also, the one time I actually actively played a free to play game(Runes of Magic) I ended up pouring more money into it then I have ever put into any other game(and more than I'd care to admit)
  • johnnywutang - March 23, 2011 8:14 p.m.

    yeah this sounds like standard corporate hyperbole, claiming to be "creating" a new trend that is in fact already being established. They only start calling it "exploitative" when they find out they can't afford to charge us that much anymore because our business is going elsewhere. "Micro-transations" is the buzz word nowadays, and that's prol where a lot of the industry will be heading.
  • bass88 - March 23, 2011 8:09 p.m.

    Why not release a decent length demo?

Showing 1-20 of 31 comments

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