EA believes freemium is the future of mobile games

Some of the most popular mobile games these days have followed a “freemium” model, where the game itself is free, but it has in-app purchases that

Some of the most popular mobile games these days have followed a “freemium” model, where the game itself is free, but it has in-app purchases that can be a variety of things, be it items that make playing the game more convenient or even more levels for the game. The freemium model is hated by many gamers despite its popularity. General Manager of EA All Play states in an interview with PocketLint that freemium is the future of mobile games.

"The market has absolutely spoken so loudly that freemium is the future," Earl told PocketLint. "There’s only one premium game in the top 50 grossing, so the market has spoken." By premium games, he means games that follow the traditional model of costing a certain amount of money upfront and having little or no in-app purchases.

EA has seen a large amount of success with its recent mobile titles, which have followed the freemium model. This includes both Real Racing 3 and The Simpsons Tapped Out. The success of these games has led to the company adopting the same model for many more of its mobile games.

EA believes freemium is the future of mobile games

One of EA's biggest success in mobile games has been widely criticised

 

While the freemium model does have many detractors, Earl defends the model by stating that there are some positives that can't be enforced with a premium game.

"We spend a tremendous amount of money and investment on updates. Which we wouldn’t have if it wasn’t a freemium game," he said. "It changes the whole mentality of having these teams that make the updates. There’s no guarantee that you’re going to make a penny, because they are free. You just do it on faith that the content is good enough that the people largely spend money. It’s not 100 per cent of them. In fact, it’s single digit percentages. But they’re enough to drive the economics in a way that make it worthwhile in continuing the investment."

He does state that the model is unlikely to attract the core gamer. "I understand that everybody has a right to their opinion. And the core gamers that don’t like in-app purchases are the ones that are happy to pay a significant amount of dollars up front," Earl added. "But there’s just no mechanism to satisfy both."

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