Ben Cousins, executive producer for EA's DICE studio, has detailed how the the forthcoming free-to-play game Battlefield Heroes is targeting an audience currently snubbed by traditional gaming.
The game – EA's first major entry into a market that is popular in Asia but still finding its feet in the West – hopes to capture the imagination of those who can't afford the latest homes consoles, are intimidated by the idea of playing with experienced gamers, or who can only dedicate a small amount of time to playing videogames.
"So who is Battlefield Heroes for? The marketing guys love to come up with snappy titles for market segments. The market segment they came up with for us was 'frustrated restricteds' – people who really want to play full games, and aspire to be gamers," Cousins told the attendees of GDC Paris during his keynote speech.
"But they're restricted in some way, and this makes them frustrated. Maybe they're restricted by money, time or skill?
"For example, a 15 year-old boy who can't afford a PS3 – he's desperate to play Call of Duty, but can't afford the console. Maybe a 30-35 year-old guy who is a new dad, who used to play games, but is restricted by time. Or maybe a new gamer who loves the idea of playing games but heard that all people who play multiplayer games are really skilled."
Cousins also compared boxed videogame products and the delivery of games via the internet, stating that he believes gaming's in a similar position to the "mid-1940s" when audiences doubted the future staying power of television compared to cinema, as he's expecting online and web-based gaming to become standard in year's to come.