At the cusp of the next console generation, major publishers have proven to be a little more open-minded about financial models that deviate from the traditional retail model, or, rather, they're adopting alternative financial models out of necessity. Free-to-play has taken over the MMO market, and appears to be encroaching on the rest of the industry. Recently, Crysis developer Crytek announced its decision to adapt to produce purely free-to-play games within the next five years.
EA CFO Blake Jorgensen, speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference, announced the publisher's intentions to include micro-transactions in all future titles, despite coming under fire for its controversial addition of micro-transactions in Dead Space 3 that allowed paying users to buy upgrades much more quickly than non-paying users (paying meaning users that spent money on the game in addition to the game's retail price.)
"We're building into all of our games the ability to pay for things along the way, either to get to a higher level to buy a new character, to buy a truck, a gun, whatever it might be," said Jorgensen. "Consumers are enjoying and embracing that way of the business."
But are they? While EA's micro-transaction model in Dead Space 3 wasn't one that excluded non-paying players from accessing all upgrades, it certainly requires more grinding out of a player that doesn't decide to pay into micro-transactions. It's a fine line that EA is toeing towards pay-to-win. One that's sure to displease more than a few paying customers.