Amidst the gaming community’s heated protest of Star Wars Battlefront II‘s economy system, EA’s CFO may have further ostracized the publisher with comments about the benefits of games as a live-service.
Speaking at this year’s Global Technology Conference, EA chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen discussed the industry’s trajectory toward more games as live-services. This involves slowly adding new content to a game over an extended period of time with the option to purchase it in increments, something EA is actively doing with Battlefront II, according to Jorgensen.
“What we’re really doing is trying to build a live-service in which we’ll be adding new content constantly to the game and giving people new ways to play the game,” Jorgensen said. “They can play and earn things, or they can actually pay for things.”
Jorgensen went on to specifically address the massive backlash Battlefront II faced over the cost of its in-game heroes, as well as the resistance it still faces over its loot box-based multiplayer economy.
“Things that we heard today, we’ll tune in the game [and they’ll] be different tomorrow,” he said. “Now we can change games all the time and react to and design events so people can enjoy the games in different ways over time.”
This willingness to change was demonstrated when the publisher announced that hero costs would be cut by 75 percent. This did little to temper the community’s outrage, however, which even involved death threats sent to an EA employee on Twitter. In spite of this ire, Jorgensen claimed that players are good with the monetization of certain experiences, suggesting it keeps them better connected and improves their experience in the long run.
“We find the consumer doesn’t mind that,” he said. “They’re actually getting a chance to go deeper and spend longer in a game than they ever did before.”
With the ubiquity of monetized multiplayer experiences over recent years, Jorgensen pointed out that the conversation about gaming has changed, and EA is not the only publisher to embark on this new path.
“People don’t talk about playing the game anymore, they talk about playing the live-service. And we’re not alone; the industry has moved this direction. This is where people are going.”
Now, this last comment by Jorgensen may particularly rile up some of us that are adamantly against Battlefront II‘s less-than-ideal progression system, but regardless of your position, let’s all at least agree that threats of violence are never productive means of debate. Should anyone not agree with this perspective of the industry—which seems to be one EA is sticking to for the foreseeable future—a more constructive practice would be simply vote with your wallet.