Chief Operating Officer of Electronic Arts (EA) Games Peter Moore has predicted that microtransactions will become a norm in games in about five to ten years’ time.
Sharing his views with Kotaku at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) earlier this month, the top industry executive had said that the gaming industry was undergoing massive transformation. A number of different business models have appeared in recent years, leaving the companies with plenty of seemingly viable options to choose from.
Moore explained that with the advent of the free-to-play games, it has been noticed that the number of gamers have increased massively. These games allow players to download the client for free and get a taste of the game in terms of graphics, gameplay and other features. There is also special premium content on offer, ranging from items and weapons to stages, characters and costumes.
Making the games playable for free would effectively lead to an increase in new players pouring into the market. While a majority of these gamers may not feel tempted to spend a single penny on the premium stuff, there would be players who would be interested in gaining prominence over others in a game with millions of active players. These people will be willing to pay money in order to reap the rewards.
Moore went on to point out that even though the contemporary models have a high appeal, it would be erroneous to assume that all other games would cease to exist. Narrative games such as the renowned Mass Effect franchise may never find themselves disappearing from the market as such $60 titles work in line with the company’s vision and objectives.
“It may well be that there will be games that survive and they are the $60 games, but I believe that the real growth is bringing billions of people into the industry and calling them gamers,” he said. “Hardcore gamers won’t like to hear this. They like to circle the wagons around what they believe is something they feel they have helped build–and rightly so.”
The core gamers are beginning to get ignored primarily due to a recent surge in casual gamers. With the prevalence of smartphones, more and more people are beginning to realise that video games are not as hard to play as they believed. This realisation has opened up gates for the industry players to target them and capitalise on the new opportunities for revenue that have become available.
The growing trend of premium downloadable content (DLC) and related business models may not be going down too well with the core gamers, but the video game giants remain oblivious to negative sentiments and seem to have already made up their minds on the direction they want to take.