You might be dissatisfied with how Electronic Arts does business, but at least one executive hears you. What he does with what he hears… well, that’s another matter entirely.
Speaking at last week’s UBS Global Technology Conference, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen said that monetization talk generally comes around after the game is made and after the company figures out how to keep the customer engaged.
“When you think about that, it’s not really the economics; the economics come afterward. There might be multiple models of ways to engage people… The fundamental way that we as an organization think about [microtransactions and subscriptions] is all around engagement. How do we engage the consumer as long as possible?”
Jorgensen acknowledges that there’s quite a bit of “consumer fatigue” from players feeling like they’re being “nickel and dimed” by free-to-play and says that his company is looking for ways “to try to alleviate some of that fatigue.”
While I’ll admit that designing a game first and monetization second is a nice way to go – and contrary to how a lot of games, especially in the mobile space work – I wonder if it really matters in the end if the eventual financial model is unpopular. Look at what happened with Payday 2. It was obviously not designed around microtransactions, but when they were added… hoo boy.
Saying that you’re aware that consumers are “fatigued” by microtransactions and that you’re going to try and reduce that fatigue is a nice first step, but it’ll only matter if you actually follow through with something players both a) like and b) are willing to pay for. That’s a tough pair of goals to nail, and lots of companies usually default to just going after the second one.
What do you think about Jorgensen’s comments? And please, try to keep it to no more than a dozen profanities per comment.