Electronic Arts Plans To Make You Pay For Glorified Game Demos?

Electronic Arts plans to grow its digital game business to become one-third of their total revenue over the next few years and that includes starting to charge for what one analyst described as very long game demos.

The comments came during an analyst visit to Electronic Arts' Redwood City headquarters and meetings with the company's executives.

One of Electronic Arts strategies will be to release what they call "premium downloadable content" on the Playstation Network and Xbox Live for $US10 to $US15 and then later release the full game for a full price, EA Group General Manager Nick Earl told Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter during the recent meeting.

Pachter writes in his report of the meeting that this premium downloadable content would "essentially be a very long game demo, along the lines of 2009's Battlefield 1943". The "full-blown packaged game" would released shortly after the download version, he writes.

Earl told Pachter that the strategy would allow the company to limit the risk of marketing the full game and would "serve as a low-cost marketing tool".

A marketing tool that it sounds like you'll be paying $US10 to $US15 for. We've contacted Electronic Arts for comment and clarification, but have not yet heard back. We'll update this story when and if we do.

During the same meeting at EA, John Riccitiello, the company's CEO, told Pachter that the "company had performed poorly over the first years of his tenure, and admitted that the turnaround of the company was taking longer than he originally expected."

Riccitiello estimated that Electronic Arts was about two-thirds of the way through its turnaround, and one-third of the way through its "transformation to the distribution of intellectual property through multiple channels."

He added that he expects the company to grow its digital business to one-third of EA's revenues within the next few years.

Another major way that EA plans to achieve that goal, Riccitiello told Pachter, is for EA to "exploit all of its

packaged games with ancillary digital revenue streams."


    I'm thankful for indie devs. Really thankful.

    EA, I thought you started to turn around and be cool? Turns out you haven't changed at all.

    wow sounds like something Im never going to do

    Surely if you are paying $15 for a 'long' demo, you will only be paying the difference to upgrade to the full version? Or do EA have too much molasses in their baked beans?

    As long as they are up front about how the thing works, I don't see the problem. Although I would hope that the DLC would come with maybe a slight discount coupon for the final product. People really shouldn't be charged more overall in order to help promote their games. If anything, it should work like preorder, and they should have to pay less in the end.

    why pay $10-15US, when you can go rent a new game for $6AUD?

    Unless they are like pre-game DLC, IE you get a few extra maps blah, or you can download say 30min gameplay for free then pay for etended play i dont see how it would work. i want demo's to try a game, not waste 15bucks to figure out how bad the game is.

    A demo is still a demo.
    There'd have to be some discount available to people who purchase the full game, following through from the distributed demo to actually make this a feasible purchase for the consumer.

    How can they expect the consumer to justify spending $15 on an incomplete game, then pay another $90-100 for the rest of it.

    Even demo's on xbox live are still free, provided you pay for the right/enough for the online service, am I wrong?

    So what would I have to do to get back to the old days of shareware besides time travel?

    EA make kittens cry.

    good luck with that ea. no-one in their right mind is gonna pay you for a bloody demo! youre just alienating your customers even more. pay for demo, pay for online... what next? am i gonna have to pay the store just to look at a game case published by you?
    they wonder why theyre so hated! i blacklisted them well over a year ago and refuse to buy anything that they profit from. i really wanted bfbc2 but just cant bring myself to back down and give them money. this further cements my position.

    Great... way to go EA. Just keep doing what you do and everyone will love you again. /sarcasm

    Just when you thought EA was beginning to be cool, they turn all activision on us

    it's like paying for BETAs, only worst?

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now