EA: Future console gamers will expect 'free-to-start' games

EA: Future console gamers will expect 'free-to-start' games
James Batchelor

By James Batchelor

January 28th 2015 at 11:36AM

Publisher's Andrew Wilson says firm is "actively investigating" free-to-play options on consoles

Free-to-play games are still finding their feet on home consoles, but Electronic Arts believes they will play a big role in the medium's future – even influencing how gamers are introduced to larger titles.

During a conference call following the publisher's latest financials, CEO Andrew Wilson said shifts in how consumers access other media – such as TV, film and books – means they may begin to expect what he refers to as "free-to-start" games on consoles, according to GameSpot.

"On free-to-play, with consoles, we think about this much the way that we think about free-to-play overall," said Wilson.

"As we look to the future, we believe a very big part of our player-base will expect a free-to-start experience. When we look at film, television, music, books, very often there is this free trial notion that actually onboards new players, new listeners, new readers, or new viewers into a service.

"We've actively looking at how we could offer that type of experience to our players on console and across other platforms."

Of course, this doesn't mean EA will start giving away triple-A titles such as Dragon Age or Battlefield for free. Instead, Wilson suggests it could offer the player a full-game download that they can start for free, or explore the options for microtransactions and subscriptions.