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nekrosoft13
03-23-10, 01:52 AM
After an investor visit with Electronic Arts, analyst Michael Pachter said that the publisher is planning a strategy that will involve selling "premium downloadable content" before a packaged game's release.

According to a Monday investor note from Wedbush Morgan's Pachter, Nick Earl, general manager of EA-owned Dead Space studio Visceral Games, revealed the new strategy.

Pachter wrote, "The PDLC would be sold for $10 or $15 through Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, and would essentially be a very long game demo, along the lines of 2009s Battlefield 1943."

He added, "A full-blown packaged game would follow shortly after the release of the PDLC, bearing a full retail price. Mr. Earl believes that the release of the PDLC first limits the risk of completing and marketing the full packaged version, and serves as a low-cost marketing tool."

Pachter separately told Gamasutra in an email, "I think that the plan is to release PDLC at $15 that has 3-4 hours of gameplay, so [it has] a very high perceived value, then [EA will] take the feedback from the community (press and players) to tweak the follow-on full game that will be released at a normal packaged price point."

"If DICE were able to follow Battlefield 1943 with a full-blown European WWII campaign game a few months later, it would have been a wild success," Pachter said.

He continued, "EAs view is that the PDLC costs a lot less to develop (essentially, its the first few levels of the full-blown game), and they have the opportunity to fix whatever needs to be fixed in the packaged product that is released a few months later, whether that entails doing more of what people like or doing less of what they dont like. It sounds like a brilliant strategy to me." Gamasutra has contacted EA for further clarification about the new strategy.

EA is becoming increasingly active in digital distribution and other online-focused revenue streams. Aside from a $300 million acquisition of social gaming company Playfish last year, COO John Schappert recently said at both the DICE Summit and Game Developers Conference this year that the publisher would be using physical discs as the basis for digital strategies.

Pachter stated in his investor note that EA CEO John Riccitiello "said that the line between packaged product sales and digital revenues would soon begin to blur, as EA intends to exploit all of its packaged games with ancillary digital revenue streams."

CFO Eric Brown also reportedly said that Visceral Games' formally unannounced Jack the Ripper game will be a "new PSN, Xbox Live game." Last year, word emerged that EA trademarked "The Ripper," leading to speculation about Visceral's next project. The studio just released Dante's Inferno earlier this year, and is also working on Dead Space 2.

Pachter said that EA has "missed expectations badly for two years running." But he also said he was "impressed" by Riccitiello's candidness about the company's current state and future prospects.

"Weve been wrong about this stock for almost five years. Either were stupid, stubborn, or unlucky, but weve been wrong. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, each time hoping for a different result," Pachter wrote.

"This time, while we are again hoping for a different result, we see evidence that the company is not doing the same things over and over again: lower headcount, fewer facilities, fewer games, a greater use of outsourcing, innovative combinations of digital and packaged goods content, a better greenlight process and a growing digital business," the analyst said. "This time, we think that EA is on the right path."

[UPDATE: EA VP of corporate communications Jeff Brown told Gamasutra in an email that the publisher will continue to offer an array of pricing strategies to consumers. He wrote in full:

"- EA is working on a number of projects for delivering premium content to consumers before, during, and after the launch of a packaged-goods version of the game.

- EA SPORTS, EA Games and EA Play are each experimenting with download strategies that deliver fresh game content in formats players want to experience.

- To date, there is no set pricing strategy for the entire EA portfolio. And many of the proposals include free-to-play content on models similar to Madden Ultimate Team, Battlefield Heroes and Battlefield 1943.

- None of the proposals call for charging consumers for traditionally free game demos."]

I guess I would be OK with it if price you spend on the "demo" would go towards the full price game later.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/27759/Analyst_EA_To_Release_Paid_DLC_Prior_To_Packaged_G ame_Launches.php

Zenoth
03-23-10, 01:56 AM
I think it's stupid, simply put, but at least they're not obliging anything prior to buying the full release, so I'll just avoid them like the plague and I'll be fine.

K007
03-23-10, 03:00 AM
they can do it...and idiots will still pay 4 it..

MaXThReAT
03-23-10, 03:12 AM
NObody should be suprized by this. You all give in to there systems of control and property ownership management. How could anyone not see this coming to PC.
I think I called this about two and half years ago but everyone said it wouldn't happen and my thread was deleted. :thumbdwn:

t3hl33td4rg0n
03-23-10, 03:26 AM
It doesn't say anywhere this is going to happen on PC, just XBL and PSN where people are used to getting raped on a regular basis lol

gulizard
03-23-10, 04:05 AM
Further increase piracy.. yeah great job EA, as if it isn't bad enough for games these days.

You know what they'll start doing now? just cutting the beginning of every game off and selling it. This is why DLC is bad. EA are Nazi's and I think I'd avoid them if it were for the Battlefield Series, but I tell you what. The day I pay for one of their demos will be the day hell freezes over. They can't even make a full complete real game, that isn't ridden with bugs, let alone with a demo.

It doesn't say anywhere this is going to happen on PC, just XBL and PSN where people are used to getting raped on a regular basis lol

Everything carries over now anyway. So it will eventually effect us.

NarcissistZero
03-23-10, 05:17 AM
This is one of those media hysteria things.

They meant games like Battlefield 1943... smaller proof of concept games, but complete experiences, that pave the way for larger versions of the same type of thing later.

But feel free to freak out, it is EA after all.

|MaguS|
03-23-10, 06:18 AM
This is one of those media hysteria things.

They meant games like Battlefield 1943... smaller proof of concept games, but complete experiences, that pave the way for larger versions of the same type of thing later.

But feel free to freak out, it is EA after all.

Yeah thats how I read it. Basically Free games will get paid DLC and they will offer episodes/DLC for games prior to release.

Noriega
03-23-10, 07:06 AM
Thank God for Xbox Live!

crainger
03-23-10, 07:12 AM
Except most demos need a Gold Subscription to download them 0 day.

Toss3
03-23-10, 07:22 AM
Yeah thats how I read it. Basically Free games will get paid DLC and they will offer episodes/DLC for games prior to release.

Did you read the same quote as I? It clearly states that they would have you pay them to be a beta-tester for the full game.

"involve selling "premium downloadable content" before a packaged game's release."

"A full-blown packaged game would follow shortly after the release of the PDLC, bearing a full retail price"

"then [EA will] take the feedback from the community (press and players) to tweak the follow-on full game that will be released at a normal packaged price point."

No way would I ever pay for a demo.

six_storm
03-23-10, 07:27 AM
PC games have demos now? When did this happen?

Oh wait, it's just demos of crappy games.

Noriega
03-23-10, 07:31 AM
Except most demos need a Gold Subscription to download them 0 day.

Yeah, Xbox Live was all about munny and this will countinue 4 eva!

|MaguS|
03-23-10, 07:37 AM
Did you read the same quote as I? It clearly states that they would have you pay them to be a beta-tester for the full game.

"involve selling "premium downloadable content" before a packaged game's release."

"A full-blown packaged game would follow shortly after the release of the PDLC, bearing a full retail price"

"then [EA will] take the feedback from the community (press and players) to tweak the follow-on full game that will be released at a normal packaged price point."

No way would I ever pay for a demo.

Um thanks for posting quotes that solidify what I said. They will offer dlc/episodes for games prior to their release, no mention of demos costing money.

I think it's a neat idea. Imagine prior to the release of mass effect 2 they released a dlc that consisted of a prequel to the games events.

Kaguya
03-23-10, 09:00 AM
This is one of those media hysteria things.

They meant games like Battlefield 1943... smaller proof of concept games, but complete experiences, that pave the way for larger versions of the same type of thing later.

But feel free to freak out, it is EA after all.

This is what I read from the article too... in the case of Dead Space, it's not that we'll get "Dead Space 2 Demo" for $15, we'll get "Dead Space Bonus", a 3 hour self-contained experience which uses the same tech and playstyle as Dead Space 2. So the feedback from the gameplay would still be valid, but it technically would not be Dead Space 2 - it would be some game all its own in Dead Space style.

I know they intent do make DS2 more run-and-gun than the first, so a tester would be good. If their 'demo' receives a lot of negative feedback, they still have time to fix their major release.

Toss3
03-23-10, 10:04 AM
Um thanks for posting quotes that solidify what I said. They will offer dlc/episodes for games prior to their release, no mention of demos costing money.

I think it's a neat idea. Imagine prior to the release of mass effect 2 they released a dlc that consisted of a prequel to the games events.

"Pachter wrote, "The PDLC would be sold for $10 or $15 through Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, and would essentially be a very long game demo, along the lines of 2009s Battlefield 1943.""

The dlc is a neat idea, but given that this is EA we're talking about, I bet you we're gonna end up paying 15 for 10minute-long demos and still have buggy titles on release-day.

|MaguS|
03-23-10, 11:13 AM
"Pachter wrote, "The PDLC would be sold for $10 or $15 through Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, and would essentially be a very long game demo, along the lines of 2009s Battlefield 1943.""

The dlc is a neat idea, but given that this is EA we're talking about, I bet you we're gonna end up paying 15 for 10minute-long demos and still have buggy titles on release-day.

Thats Patchers words, not EAs but basically it can be compared very long demo since it would be an addition to the retail product but not part of it (unlike a demo which is a portion of the product).

The portion that you didn't bold is more telling of the type of product, it would be like BF1943 which is a whole game just with less content then BF1942. Do you consider BF1943 a demo?

EA has been one of the best publishers the last few years. They have been lax on DRM, Supported new IPs and allowed their developers to really work on their big IPs in a better fashion. They are not the same company of 5 years ago... they are not Activision.

|MaguS|
03-23-10, 11:17 AM
Too add, I would say that this is EAs answer to Episodic Gaming. They have a Full Retail Product and smaller Episodic Parts of that said product released before and after the Full Retail.

I think we really should change the title of this thread because its not demos they are charging for. They even clarified that...

EA is working on a number of projects for delivering premium content to consumers before, during, and after the launch of a packaged-goods version of the game.

Problem is that some of you read that the content would be 1 hour long and automatically assume its a demo that they are releasing rather then tie in content.

ViN86
03-23-10, 11:21 AM
If the games are like Battlefield 1943 I would hardly call them demo's...

Toss3
03-23-10, 12:19 PM
Thats Patchers words, not EAs but basically it can be compared very long demo since it would be an addition to the retail product but not part of it (unlike a demo which is a portion of the product).

The portion that you didn't bold is more telling of the type of product, it would be like BF1943 which is a whole game just with less content then BF1942. Do you consider BF1943 a demo?

EA has been one of the best publishers the last few years. They have been lax on DRM, Supported new IPs and allowed their developers to really work on their big IPs in a better fashion. They are not the same company of 5 years ago... they are not Activision.

Okay it seems as though you were right. :) I clearly misunderstood what was being said, but so apparently did nekrosoft and I think the thread title ought to be changed.

-=DVS=-
03-23-10, 05:06 PM
"I think that the plan is to release PDLC at $15 that has 3-4 hours of gameplay
(essentially, its the first few levels of the full-blown game)

LoL :screwy: ok yeah , game like Metro is like 5 hours of play , ill pay 15$ to play 80% of the game then pay 50$ more bucks to see the ending . AWESOME ! im all over it seriously :rolleyes: why not charge for CG trailers that don't even have any game content then charge for demo and then charge again for bigger demo/full game.

|MaguS|
03-23-10, 05:22 PM
LoL :screwy: ok yeah , game like Metro is like 5 hours of play , ill pay 15$ to play 80% of the game then pay 50$ more bucks to see the ending . AWESOME ! im all over it seriously :rolleyes: why not charge for CG trailers that don't even have any game content then charge for demo and then charge again for bigger demo/full game.

I don't think thats what EA means to do though. I see it as imagine they release a DLC for Metro 2033 that is 3 hours of gameplay that takes place before the actual games story so in a sense its part of the game but the Full Retail would contain different content.

"If DICE were able to follow Battlefield 1943 with a full-blown European WWII campaign game a few months later, it would have been a wild success," Pachter said.

Imagine, You pay $15 for BF1943. It's for the most part a pretty nice size game already and later one depending on consumer feedback they would probably release a Retail Product at full price if it sells well but if it didn't they didn't waste as much in development funds as take a chance with going all out on a retail product.

This could be really good for new IPs as they can take risks with new games without it being a huge loss if it fails.

NarcissistZero
03-23-10, 05:49 PM
Imagine, You pay $15 for BF1943. It's for the most part a pretty nice size game already and later one depending on consumer feedback they would probably release a Retail Product at full price if it sells well but if it didn't they didn't waste as much in development funds as take a chance with going all out on a retail product.

This could be really good for new IPs as they can take risks with new games without it being a huge loss if it fails.

Exactly.

Dice were surprised by the success of 1943 on consoles, and this likely spurred development of a real, massive Battlefield online-only game on consoles. This is a spin-off of that sort of thing.

NaitoSan
03-23-10, 06:13 PM
IMO, it's great especially for new IPs and in the result, we might get higher quality titles. I don't see how it can be a bad thing...

I like the idea that, say, Mirror's Edge 2 is in development and they released a prequel to that game which contains like 5 levels (depends on how big each level is), few weapons, enemies, cut-scenes and all that for $10. And with all feedbacks we give, will go toward retail version, turning it more polished, balanced and better experience for everyone. It's great for developers actually to know what exact customers want for specific games as well help them fund for game's development. That's just my thoughts.

Armed_Baboon
03-23-10, 06:26 PM
yeah but what if the feedback from the majority of gamers comes back sounding like:

"it's too complicated".

"I don't understand the inventory system, get rid of it".

"I don't want to have to harvest resources, I just want to kill stuff".

?