EA: We Will Not Charge For "Traditionally Free Game Demos"

Illustration for article titled EA: We Will Not Charge For "Traditionally Free Game Demos"

Electronic Arts tells Kotaku that while they're exploring different downloadable game strategies, they do not plan to charge gamers for "traditionally free game demos."

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The clarification comes after word hit via analyst Michael Pachter's visit to Electronic Arts, that the company planned to grow their digital game business in part by release what EA called "premium downloadable content" on the Playstation Network and Xbox Live for $10 to $15. Pachter described that content as "essentially be a very long game demo, along the lines of 2009's Battlefield 1943." The "full-blown packaged game" would later be released at a full retail price.

EA Group General Manager Nick Earl told Pachter during the recent meeting 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."

Responding to request for comment, EA's Jeff Brown said that the publisher and developer is working on a "number of projects for delivering premium content to consumers before, during, and after the launch of a packaged-goods version of the game."

"EA SPORTS, EA Games and EA Play are each experimenting with download strategies that deliver fresh game content in formats players want to experience," he writes. "To date, there is no set pricing strategy for the entire EA portfolio. And many of the proposals include free-to-play content on models similar to Madden Ultimate Team, Battlefield Heroes and Battlefield 1943."

"None of the proposals" Brown wrote, "call for charging consumers for traditionally free game demos."

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Speaking at the Game Developer's Conference earlier this month Ben Cousins, general manager of free to play Battlefield Heroes, told a gathering of designers that EA is becoming increasingly interested in free-to-play or "freemium" games.

DISCUSSION

Les Vegetables

So, is it safe to assume that, if you buy the demo, then upgrade to the full game digitally, that they would take the price of the demo out? If so, I actually think that would be rad.