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EA Exec: Free-to-Play Haters are the Vocal Minority

Posted on April 3, 2013 AT 04:28am

Is the bashing of free-to-play business models simply the result of a vocal minority? Senior vice president of EA’s All Play division, Nick Earl seems to think so.

“The market has spoken very loudly that that’s the model they like,” he told GameIndustry in a recent interview. ”Even though there’s some vocal minority that don’t like it, ultimately the numbers would show that they and others all support the freemium model better.”

Earl used the example of Real Racing 3 to prove his point. ”I think initially they were a little bit annoyed because the all-you-can-eat model makes sense for them,” he said. “That’s the kind of people they are. But at the end of the day, they’re going to pay to eat, if that’s their choice. And they’re happy doing it.

“At the end of the day you kind of have to look at real numbers. The old proverb, ‘You can’t please all the people all the time’ is just so true.”

If free-to-play is done right then it can be a great thing for gaming, but if the developer/publisher tries to nickle and dime players too much or moves into pay-to-win territory then that is when players start to get annoyed. Free-to-play allows games that would never have stood a chance to survive and allows smaller budget games access to larger fanbases–helping the industry to grow.

Do you think free-to-play is a good thing? Share your thoughts below.

Matthew Bennett, Associate Editor
Matthew Bennett finally got his big break with EGM three years ago, following years of volunteer work for various sites. An ability to go many hours without sleep and a quick wit make him ideal for his role as associate editor at He often thinks back to the days when the very idea of this career seemed like nothing but an impossible dream. Follow him on Twitter @mattyjb89. Meet the rest of the crew.

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