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 »

Video Income tax, ISIS facts and 'stamina': Key Clinton-Trump debate moments video
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump engaged in their first one-on-one debate Monday night at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. Here are some of the key moments from the highly-anticipated showdown.
CBC IN PARIS 'Back to the street': France's unimagined and unimaginable migrant crisis
One hundred thousand asylum seekers have made their way to France in 2016, a country now playing catchup with what some say was a foreseeable crisis, Michelle Gagnon writes from Paris.
Analysis The 'change' candidate can't change his ways in 1st debate video
Everyone, even Donald Trump, knew Hillary Clinton would try to get under his skin and lure him off message and down the rabbit hole of his vanity, and yet the Republican candidate couldn't resist the bait for the entire duration of Monday's debate.
more »

Canada »

Air Canada, WestJet 'colluded' to charge checked bag fee, proposed class action alleges
A proposed class action lawsuit alleges that Air Canada and WestJet "colluded" to introduce a charge for a first checked bag fee. It also claims that the added charge has “unjustly enriched” the two airlines because it comes with no extra service.
Military ombudsman rips dizzying delay in ex-soldier benefits
The country's military ombudsman says he's hoping the Liberal government will stop discharging wounded soldiers before their benefits are arranged.
Royals have rainy tour of Bella Bella, B.C.
The weather in Bella Bella, B.C., had different plans for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge than what the locals had hoped, but despite some relocations and cancellations, the royal couple paid a visit to the remote northern B.C. community.
more »

Politics »

Military ombudsman rips dizzying delay in ex-soldier benefits
The country's military ombudsman says he's hoping the Liberal government will stop discharging wounded soldiers before their benefits are arranged.
Disabled passengers complain of treatment by airport security staff
Passengers with disabilities or travelling with prescribed medicinal marijuana say officers with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority need better rules and more sensitivity, according to complaints filed with the Crown corporation.
Patrick Brazeau to return to Senate after 3-year legal saga
Senator Patrick Brazeau will return to his seat in the Red Chamber today after a lengthy legal battle over his living expense claims.
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»

New 'Suspicious elements' of Inuit artist Annie Pootoogook's death draw Ottawa police attention
An Ottawa police unit that normally investigates confirmed homicides is looking into "suspicious elements" of Inuit artist Annie Pootoogook's death.
Actor Gordon Pinsent receives Stratford Festival's Legacy Award
Acclaimed Newfoundland actor Gordon Pinsent was recognized as this year's recipient of the Stratford Festival's Legacy Award at a gala in Toronto on Monday.
Bruce Springsteen memoir Born to Run takes readers on riveting ride
Bruce Springsteen's life is now officially an open book: his autobiography Born to Run takes readers on a riveting ride through the everyman rock star's deeply lived existence.
more »

Technology & Science »

Got a few million to spare? Here are the companies vying to send tourists to space
Travel to the final frontier is becoming increasingly accessible as the race to send tourists to space is heating up. For a hefty price tag, companies are offering trips to the International Space Station, and travel 100 kilometres above Earth.
Video Amazing drone footage shows massive destruction in Aleppo video
Bird's-eye view captures true impact from years of war
Hubble spies possible water plumes spewing from Jupiter moon
Astronomers on Monday said they have spotted evidence of water vapour plumes rising from Jupiter's moon Europa, a finding that might make it easier to learn whether life exists in the warm, salty ocean hidden beneath its icy surface.
more »

Money »

Amazon Prime to offer same-day delivery in Toronto, Vancouver
Amazon says it will soon offer same-day delivery to its Prime customers in Toronto and Vancouver who order something online worth more than $25.
OPEC deal unlikely as oil cartel nations can't agree
Iran is playing down hopes of a deal among oil-exporting countries meeting in Algeria this week to limit production and boost energy prices.
Air Canada, WestJet 'colluded' to charge checked bag fee, proposed class action alleges
A proposed class action lawsuit alleges that Air Canada and WestJet "colluded" to introduce a charge for a first checked bag fee. It also claims that the added charge has “unjustly enriched” the two airlines because it comes with no extra service.
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]
Preview Dominant Canadians face Europe for World Cup of Hockey title
Canada faces one last obstacle in its championship quest at the World Cup of Hockey as it prepares to battle Team Europe in the best-of-three final starting Tuesday night (CBC, CBCSports.ca, CBC Sports app, 7:30 p.m. ET).
World Cup of Hockey: Watch Canada-Europe final on CBC Sports
Ensure you don't miss a moment of World Cup of Hockey action by downloading the CBC Sports app, watching on our website or catching the games live on television.
Coming Up World Cup of Hockey final: Canada vs. Europe video
Watch live at 7:30 p.m. ET as Canada faces off against Europe in Game 1 of the World Cup of Hockey final in Toronto.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »