Electronic Art’s CEO Andrew Wilson is looking into something new for console owners.
According to Wilson, EA is looking to expand its free-to-play options by pushing for what is being coined as “free-to-start,” or basically a new way to provide game trials to consumers.
“On free-to-play, with consoles, we think about this much the way that we think about free-to-play overall. There’s a couple of different vectors to this. The first is as we look to the future, we believe a very big part of our player-base will expect a free-to-start experience, ” Wilson said on an earnings call. “When we look at film, television, music, books, very often there is this free trial notion that actually onboards new players, new listeners, new readers, or new viewers into a service. We’re actively looking at how we could offer that type of experience to our players on console and across other platforms.”
Wilson believes that future gamers will expect console games to become available in a manner similar to many PC games and mobile games, as well as other forms of media such as books, television and movies. For consoles, this means offering free access to their games, at least initially in a demo, then allowing them to pay for it later if they so choose.
EA already has some channels in place that may help in actively pushing for more playable trials on consoles. EA Access, launched last summer exclusively for the Xbox One, charges consumers a monthly subscription to have both early access and unlimited use to a number of EA games, as well as pre-orders and downloads for digital copies of their games.
Wilson also stated they hope to offer a number of business models to their customers, including full-game downloads, microtransactions, and a subscription-based system for their games catalogue.
So does this sound like a good idea? What are your thoughts on this?