EA chief operating officer Peter Moore's vision of gaming future will frighten some fans: Moore believes microtransactions will eventually be a part of all games. In an interview with Kotaku, Moore explained how the real growth is coming in the free-to-play business model.
"I think, ultimately, those microtransactions will be in every game, but the game itself or the access to the game will be free," said Moore.
"We're getting 5 cents, 6 cents [average revenue per user] a day out of these people. The great majority will never pay us a penny which is perfectly fine with us, but they add to the eco-system and the people who do pay money - the whales as they are affectionately referred to, to use a Las Vegas term - love it because to be number one of a game that like 55 million people playing is a big deal."
"I think there's an inevitability that happens five years from now, ten years from now, that - let's call it the client to use the term - [is free.] It is no different than... it's free to me to walk into The Gap in my local shopping mall. They don't charge me to walk in there. I can walk into The Gap, enjoy the music, look at the jeans and what have you, but if I want to buy something I have to pay for it," he added.
Moore said the industry needs to reach out beyond hardcore players into the general populace to succeed.
"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. 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," he said.
Is free-to-play our ultimate future? The full interview with Moore can be found over at Kotaku, where he also talks about the work EA Partners does with independents.