Acclaim's David Perry, no stranger to games development, has said that EA's unveiling of a free-to-play Battlefield Heroes one of the "biggest statements" they've ever made.
EA had already committed to free-to-play in Asia but only now have they decided to introduce it in the US says Perry, he has "incredible faith" that EA will "pull this off."
Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, Perry muses on EA's whole decision to finally break the free-to-play ice over in the West.
"EA is a retail-based company and that means they're dealing with retailers everyday, they have constant retail issues that they're dealing with, and the last thing in the world they want to do is announce that they're going to go free-to-play... that's not a good relationship builder with your retail sales teams," he explained.
"For them to actually make that announcement was huge, I thought that was one of the biggest statements that EA has made in years and it just went over people's heads."
"They already have invested in Korea and The9 in China, they've been doing this for ages but they've been keeping it down. They built FIFA Online as a free MMO. Why would you make one of the most popular games in Asia and not release it in the US?"
"The reason they don't is because they weren't going to commit EA to free-to-play games - but finally they have. I think Battlefield Heroes is going to be a huge hit, it's going to be a bit of a phenomenon... I have incredible faith that EA is going to pull this off."
Micro-transactions are the key to success and Perry concedes that gamers in his experience are more than likely to part with more cash than they do at the initial purchase.
"It's a whole different world you enter when you get into free-to-play, it's like the industry that we've all been missing and the second thing we've been missing is the idea of letting people pay what they want," he said.
Clickto read the full interview between David Perry and GamesIndustry.biz.
BF Heroes free-to-play announcement "went over people's heads"
18 August 2008 | By Simon Priest