Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

EA to launch free, downloadable Battlefield game

by Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca

Video game giant Electronic Arts is taking a step way from the retail sales model for PC games and moving into ad-supported online gaming, with plans to introduce a free downloadable version of its Battlefield series.

Battlefield Heroes is expected to be available online in Western markets later this year. It follows the company's experiment with free online games in South Korea, where EA introduced a free version of its FIFA soccer game, the NY Times reports.

From the article:

Gerhard Florin, E.A.’s executive vice president for publishing in the Americas and Europe, said it has signed up more than five million Korean users and generates more than $1 million in monthly in-game sales. Players can pay not only for decorative items like shoes and jerseys but also for boosts in their players’ speed, agility and accuracy. Mr. Florin said that while most users do not buy anything, a sizable minority ends up spending $15 [US] to $20 [US] a month. With Battlefield Heroes, E.A. hopes to bring that basic system of “microtransactions” to Western players, along with increased advertising.

The new game is marketed to a more general audience than the retail versions of EA's Battlefield series. Heroes will feature simpler, cartoonish graphics and be easier to run on older PCs.

Battlefield Heroes could be just the beginning for EA's move to add so-called "casual online games" to its repertoire.

Last week Gamasutra, citing a report in Korean publication Digital Chosunilbo, said EA would open a development studio in Korea to produce "three or four" online games. Digital Chosunilbo cited an EA source saying an online version of NBA Street, along with Battlefield, was one of the projects.

It will be interesting to see how this business model takes in North America and Europe. We're also curious to see what other mainstay titles EA plans to convert into scaled-down online games. The Sims? NHL? How about a simplified version of some of recently acquired Bioware's games? Neverwinter Nights light anyone?

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments

Garet

Winnipeg

I guess they didn't want the same thing to happen with this game as happened to Crysis. Maybe they realized PC games don't sell well when you can just download them for free.

Posted January 21, 2008 01:48 PM

Jordan

Winnipeg

It's worth noting that Battlefield is not their best WW2 FPS game, a new one hasn't been put out in years, and they were usually trash when they were put out.
As far as microtransactions are concerned, I prefer to buy the entire game at once and not in chunks.

Posted January 21, 2008 03:49 PM

Fixerdave

Victoria

Online sports games, especially racing, are a natural fit for in-game advertising. Why should all those billboards around the arena/track be fake? Why don't people pay for spots there? There are already organised racing leagues based on car simms, all someone needs to do is offer the client for free, set up a spectator system to get more people in (or watching the replays over and over), and start selling all the advertising space.

It is a simple and real-world proven marketing system. If it works in the real world, why not in a simm?

David...

Posted January 21, 2008 05:42 PM

Andrew H.

NL

I agree David. I am a huge motorsports fan, and I own games from NASCAR Racing 2003 Season, which i bought brand new for 40-50 bucks 5 years ago, and now is worth well over $100 still, to NASCAR 08 on PS3, and from the cars itself, to the billboards to the walls and the infield grass area..there are real sponsorships that the game makers pay money to use the Rights to place them into the game for realism, except for Tobacco and Alcohol sponsorships. There are people out there who take Sim Racing seriously. There are many different kinds of Sim Racing Leagues out there, with their own sponsorships to pay to have a server to hold about 30-40 people to race at once, with minimal lag. You can tell which servers are the well funded ones, and which are not.

Posted January 22, 2008 12:59 PM

Stephen D

Calgary

We bought my son an EA Battlefield game for the PC, but once we opened it, we were warned that there was additional advertising software bundled with the game. EA claimed no responsibility for how the adware operated.

That doesn't sound like EA is very reliable in this area.

Also, the Battlefield game says you must be 14 years of age to play, but I question how old you need to be in order to judge whether to load adware on the family computer or not.

There is a nagging question of gaming violence in the industry, but EA seems to be using kids to open the backdoor on family computers.

Posted January 23, 2008 01:57 PM

Jason

Halifax

Well, this is probably going to kill the game. I also think EA is coming into the 'free game' era just a little to late. This will not bode to well. Already, their are two big online sport games that are free; Free Style Street Basketball Online, and Kicks (An online soccer game) which seem to be managing very well. EA's Battlefield going free swing is also going to cause a stir, but having some dear and almighty competition, as there are MANY free online WW games, and combat sims. I really think EA shoul;d just stick with the regiment their with, and 'going free' is more of an independent move then mainstream, which is what EA is. Stop trying to 'do the right thing', because 8.7 out of 10 times; it's wrong!

Posted January 24, 2008 08:11 AM

Barkley Pollock

Ottawa

What about xboxlive?

Posted January 24, 2008 04:03 PM

Jason

What about xBox live? ...?

Posted January 28, 2008 12:13 PM

Jason

Halifax

What would be the point of putting Battlefield on Xbox live for free? Xbox wouldn't make any moolah from it, which seems to be Xbox Lives motives. I just don't se that happening anytime soon.

Posted February 5, 2008 08:22 AM

Garet

Winnipeg

...Jason, that is how a business works.

Posted February 5, 2008 09:09 AM

Jason

Halifax

I could see it coming from another company, but from EA, hell no. They make you pay for everything. Not to mention I have not seen a single free game on the PC produced by EA. If you can, please direct me, and not mention most of their Online implied games are done through subscriptions. If they were smart they would stay with what they are doing.

Posted February 6, 2008 08:31 AM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

Analysis The struggle to put Venezuela back on the path to economic health: Don Pittis
Oil wealth alone should make all Venezuelan families U.S. dollar millionaires. What went wrong and how can it be fixed?
Trump arrives in Israel to talk peace and threats posed by Iran video
U.S. President Donald Trump opens his first visit to Israel by saying he sees growing recognition among Muslim nations that they share a "common cause" with Israel in their determination to counter the threats posed by Iran.
CBC IN CYPRUS 1 village, 2 mayors: Pyla shows peace is possible in Cyprus video
A new generation of Cypriots may be ready for peace, but will old wounds sabotage the latest efforts to reunify the island?
more »

Canada »

Tax worker fired after biggest privacy breach at Revenue Canada
The Canada Revenue Agency has fired every worker involved in eight privacy breaches detected in since 2016, Including the largest incident in which 1,264 accounts were briefly accessed.
Analysis How the Conservative leadership vote could be won, ballot by ballot
An analysis of fundraising data provides clues as to which Conservative leadership candidates have most to gain from the preferential ballot — and how the final count could go down.
Go Public Scammers convince senior he's funding terrorism in elaborate con job video
Ron Jones lost thousands of dollars in an elaborate scam that left him deep in debt and believing he had funded terrorism.
more »

Politics »

Tax worker fired after biggest privacy breach at Revenue Canada
The Canada Revenue Agency has fired every worker involved in eight privacy breaches detected in since 2016, Including the largest incident in which 1,264 accounts were briefly accessed.
Analysis How the Conservative leadership vote could be won, ballot by ballot
An analysis of fundraising data provides clues as to which Conservative leadership candidates have most to gain from the preferential ballot — and how the final count could go down.
Analysis Ukraine seeks to avoid being a bargaining chip between Washington and Moscow
Ukrainian politicians have appealed to their Canadian counterparts to help "educate" the Trump administration on the geopolitical importance of their country. It comes at a time when Canadians face troubles of their own getting through to the new American president.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

Photos The Hollywood effect: Maud Lewis and other painters who got a bump from the movies
Maud Lewis' exuberant art regularly turns up at Canadian auctions. But the high-profile new film Maudie has sparked a wave of fresh interest in the beloved Nova Scotia folk artist's oeuvre. Call it the Hollywood effect.
Drake, Céline Dion shine at 2017 Billboard Music Awards
Celine Dion performed her classic My Heart Will Go On at the Billboard Music Awards 20 years after the song was a chart topper, while fellow Canadian Drake was cleaning up the awards.
Bill Cosby 'looking forward' to trial as jury selection in sex assault case begins
Jury selection in Pennsylvania has begun in the case of a Toronto-area woman who was manager of the Temple University basketball team when she alleged famous alumnus Bill Cosby drugged and molested her when she went to his home for career advice in 2004.
more »

Technology & Science »

New Leaked Facebook documents show types of content it allows, says report
Leaked Facebook documents show how the social media company moderates issues such as hate speech, terrorism, pornography and self-harm on its platform, the Guardian reported, citing internal guidelines seen by the newspaper.
Google plans to 'fix' Toronto by building smart city
Google has its sights set on piloting its vision for the smart city of the future in Canada’s largest urban centre. But its reasons for picking Toronto are not necessarily the ones we might first assume.
Canadians 'reluctant' to accept new police powers, prefer privacy online, government finds
The findings are part of a report published by Public Safety, based on responses to the government's consultation on national security reform held last fall.
more »

Money »

New U.S. stocks higher Monday while TSX closed for May holiday weekend
U.S. stocks were higher Monday while Canada's benchmark stock index the TSX was closed for the May long weekend.
Ford replaces CEO Mark Fields in push to transform business
As CEO, Fields began Ford's transition from a traditional automaker into a "mobility" company, laying out plans to build autonomous vehicles and explore new services such as ride-hailing and car-sharing. But there were rumblings that Fields wasn't focusing enough on Ford's core business.
Analysis The struggle to put Venezuela back on the path to economic health: Don Pittis
Oil wealth alone should make all Venezuelan families U.S. dollar millionaires. What went wrong and how can it be fixed?
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Analysis Shootout breaks Canadian hearts yet again
For Canadian hockey players, it has never been easy to deal with a shootout loss. And for the second time in four-and-a-half months at a major international tournament, there was Canada, once again, on the losing end of a gold-medal final shootout.
Video Hip Check: Pittsburgh's killer 1st period makes Ottawa goalies do the shuffle video
Craig Anderson's 36th birthday didn't exactly go according to plan
Recap Penguins destroy Sens to put Ottawa on the brink video
The Pittsburgh Penguins wasted no time, scoring four goals in the first period of Game 5 to help secure a 7-0 win over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday afternoon.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »