Better late than never: EA to make the switch to freemium

Better late than never: EA to make the switch to freemium
We’re not sure if the planets are aligning or there really is something to this whole 2012 thing, but EA is now saying it will finally make the switch to a freemium model when it comes to its mobile games. If you’re a gamer, you know that EA is synonymous with gettin’ paid. This is the company that essentially releases variations of the same game every year, particularly its sports franchises, and more recently, has even started requiring several of its titles to require an online pass code so used game purchasers have to shell out even more cash to play EA’s games online. We’re pretty sure “free” is the second 4-letter F word to them.

On the mobile side of things, you can have your pick of plenty of great games from a host of studios on all platforms for under $2. In fact, it has been reported that the average price of mobile games has been steadily declining, while revue has been increasing. When it comes to EA though, many of its top titles still sport a $5 price tag, such as Madden and Need for Speed. 

EA is finally catching the drift that it can actually make more money by releasing the game for free with paid add-ons and in-game enhancements. In an interview about the switch with AllThingsD, the head of EA’s mobile and social worldwide studio, Nick Earl, said, “We are all over that. There will be a few one-time download games in the future, but they are such the exception, and the norm will be freemium games.”

The transition will start this summer with the launch of EA’s The Simpsons. The game will feature a post-nuclear Springfield caused by none other than Homer, of course. The players will have to unlock various characters to rebuild the city.

Nick said the switch has taken so long to come to fruition because “it takes a different skill set to build a one-time download.” Like its console business in recent years, Nick says that EA will publish fewer games, but focus on higher quality in the ones it does release.

“Over the last three years, we reengineered the console business,” Nick said. “There were a lot of mediocre stuff and we moved to making a lot fewer good titles. Basically, we are taking that approach to fewer, bigger and better from console to mobile and social, and adapting to freemium.”

source: AllThingsD



1. thedarkside

Posts: 654; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

too bad they couldnt get the new rendition of goldeneye right.

2. greyhulk

Posts: 186; Member since: Jun 30, 2010

I hate freemium games. I would rather pay a one-time fee of $5.00 than constantly be nagged to buy crap in the game and have a game that is completely crippled without spending money. I was hoping to see less of this trend, not more. I refuse to download any games that are funded this way.

9. Jonathan41

Posts: 532; Member since: Mar 22, 2012

Fully agreed.


Posts: 701; Member since: Jun 07, 2011

yea same here, i would prefer to pay for a game. Ive never bought in-game content and i believe i never will.

11. bolaG

Posts: 468; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

I completely agree! I've been saying the same thing. Best example would be Glu mobile games.

3. infernal88

Posts: 113; Member since: Jun 08, 2012

EA !!CALL OF DUTY !!! is Activision that publish call of duty games not EA...EA publishes battlefield games in other hand ...i do hate freemium... it is just a way to milk users cuz in such game u dont really advance unless u spend alot of real money so buying a game would be way cheaper

4. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

I caught that call of duty bit too. I wonder Charlene plays games.

5. CharleneSchnepf

Posts: 16; Member since: Nov 30, 2011

Sorry about the memory casualty, I was thinking about the EA/Activision legal battle over COD and got my lines crossed. Corrected. Thanks for pointing it out.

6. thedarkside

Posts: 654; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

can you put something in there about how they ruined goldeneye?

18. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

The latest one was actually Activision, but that's one thing both companies do have in common.

7. JayRaj

Posts: 54; Member since: Oct 31, 2010

“free” is the second 4-letter F word to them. Lol!! XD

8. Jonathan41

Posts: 532; Member since: Mar 22, 2012

No, no, no! Freemium games are not free, not at all. The whole point is to get you with the initial download and then nickel and dime you the whole time you play the game. look at Glu Mobile's Top Grossing "free" games. I would much rather just spend $5 and get everything on the game then to have to buy $50 dollars worth of "EA Bucks" or "Glu Points" to unlock everything. In some games you have to spend money to get things like Health packs (Dark Meadow)! So, to me this is not good news. EA doesn't have any intention on giving away free games. They are known already for nickel and diming customers. This is more of the same.

12. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

The few times I've tried these freemium games, I quickly got annoyed and uninstalled them. To be asked to buy something every few minutes is just too much for me.

16. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

Me too, best example are the games from glu mobile, it's hard to advance levels due to the need to buy stuff to make your life easier ingame. Also some gameloft games are like these, but atleast their games can be completed w/o even dropping any nickle.

13. TreyTreyTaylor

Posts: 728; Member since: Dec 21, 2010

Freemium games are terrible. Someone got a hold of my transformer awhile back and went to the Sims free play(the irony in the name is flipping crazy) and purchased the top amount of points in the game on my account. Guess how much. Just guess. $250.00. Your not seeing crazy. That's the actual amount they purchased. Now long story short I got refunded all the money. But the point is NO mobile game in the world. Not even World of Warcraft Mobile or whatever they'll call it should have $249.99 as a point upgrade. The balls these people have.

14. ananya22

Posts: 93; Member since: Apr 23, 2012

i play any game i want for free. i download the apk's i dont care. i already have fifa 12 and nfs hot pursuit.

15. greyhulk

Posts: 186; Member since: Jun 30, 2010

Congratulations on being too cheap to pay $1.99 for a game you can play for hours. Honestly, it's probably people like you who are driving developers to use the "Freemium" model.

23. iami67

Posts: 334; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

most these games are to small and dont last hours thats the problem. I just downloaded a game they wanted 2.99 for and beat it in one day only took one hr. great game great graphics but game is over now and if i paid the 3 bucks id feel ripped off.

17. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

You are probably the guy who shoplifts too...

19. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Freemium games are usually very terrible. The best ones are ones that you can buy everything in the game without paying for the in game currency by grinding and getting good in the game. Games like Temple Run on smartphones and Tribes Ascend on console/PC are GOOD examples of Freemium games. Temple Run is the only freemium game I have ever spent money on, and it wasn't even because I was all that interested in the paltry 2500 coins I got, but because it was a fun game and I felt the devs deserved a buck for the game. I feel the same way about Tribes Ascend, but Im waiting for them to do a gold sale with discounts on the currency before I buy, because unlike 99.99% of freemium games, they are worth the money, as they are games you can play without ever spending anything, you can excel at them if you have skill and learn the game as you play it. Plus they are fun enough that they would be worth spending some cash on if they were the traditional buy and play it model.

20. ananya22

Posts: 93; Member since: Apr 23, 2012

well i dont shoplift and the thing is i do not have a credit card, they arent necessary in my country. debit cards do just fine. and i cant get a credit card till i turn 18 anyways and i cant force my parents to get it. i'll start buying apps when i turn 18

24. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

Which country?

25. ananya22

Posts: 93; Member since: Apr 23, 2012


21. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

I remember when they got mad at 2k sports when they release a superior NFL game for 19.99. So they lock up a NFL contract and release same game over for 60 bucks. Now I steer clear from EA.

22. iami67

Posts: 334; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Def prefer the free games. if your worried about the pop up root your phone and get ad blocker. And if your worried about the cost of add ons most add ons can be one just play better or if you must use a cheat to get it free

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless