Electronic Arts COO Peter Moore says microtransactions in games will be a definite part of the industry's future. Interestingly enough, he acknowledges that hardcore gamers won't like this.
In speaking to Kotaku , Moore said that in 5-10 years, all games will have the option of "installing a client" for free, and then charging for add-ons. He likened this to a trip to The Gap:
"I think, ultimately, those microtransactions will be in every game, but the game itself or the access to the game will be free. I think there's an inevitability that happens five years from now, 10 years from now, that, let's call it the client, to use the term, [is free]. It is no different than…it's free to me to walk into The Gap in my local shopping mall. They don't charge me to walk in there. I can walk into The Gap, enjoy the music, look at the jeans and what have you, but if I want to buy something I have to pay for it."
That being said, Moore doesn't believe this will effectively kill off the big-budget $60 productions. They will survive, but the microtransactions can lead to industry growth by ushering in new fans. The interesting part is that he added: "Hardcore gamers won't like to hear this. They like to circle the wagons around what they believe is something they feel they have helped build – and rightly so."
Damn straight. But it looks like we're just going to have to get over it, as what Moore foresees isn't only possible, it's plausible. Plus, the idea of games shifting from products to services is a hot topic of conversation and one analysts and industry insiders take quite seriously. What have you to say about all this?