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EA: Microtransactions More Lucrative Than In-Game Ads

At one time, gamers were concerned that in-game ads would start to have a negative impact on the experience.

And while ads certainly exist, they aren't quite as prominent as one may have expected; maybe it's because, according to EA, such ads just don't pay off. In speaking to Edge, EA's general manager of their free-to-play program, Ben Cousins, said in-game advertising just hasn't generated the huge amount of income the publisher anticipated. Indeed, microtransactions is more of a revenue generator. Said Cousins:

"We actually aren’t getting much from ad revenue at all. The in-game advertising business hasn’t grown as fast as people expected it to."

Publishers of smaller apps for different platforms, such as Zynga (a company that produces Facebook games), have reaped big benefits from microtransactions. If you think about how fast the virtual goods business has grown in the last year or so, it’s been much quicker and become a much more reliable source of revenue," added Cousins.

Next year, EA will release Battlefield: Play4Free, which follows up on the free-to-play Battlefield Heroes. The latter featured both in-game ads and microtransactions and while one took off, the other didn't really do much for EA. Cousins isn't saying in-game ads are going the way of the dodo (money is money) but perhaps the wave of the future is microtransactions, rather than a few billboards here and there.

Tags: in game ads, ads in games, ea, electronic arts

12/21/2010 9:39:48 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (18 posts)

frylock25
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @ 10:19:09 AM
Reply

my buddy got hooked on this pc online game called evony or something. then he started dumping $$$ into it. i told him he should stop he wasnt really getting anything for it. he would end up blowing all the money really quick. then want to spend more. its like going to the casino, very rarely does it work in the little guys favor to spend that money.

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @ 11:51:14 AM

That's a good analogy, as it is easy to get lost in these smaller Pay2Play games and before long you have no idea how much you've spent.

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Snorge
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @ 10:19:40 AM
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Good....got tired of all those in-game ads in sports games.....wait....I didnt play too many sports game! Oh well

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Highlander
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @ 10:24:16 AM
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Microtransaction driven apparently free online multi-player games.

I seem to remember saying this was where EA was going when they declared Single Player dead.

Screw EA.

Agree with this comment 9 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

maxpontiac
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @ 12:02:15 PM

EA is still a corporation, and I understand that. However, singleplayer is only dead for companies who fail to make the experience worthwhile.

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @ 12:40:52 PM

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, BAAAAAAAAAAAAA
No thanks to all those frigging casual-game black-sheep who've poured their life's savings into micro-transactions.

But all of us real gamers know better, don't we????

FTW....and screw all those cash-sheep money-mills!!!!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @ 1:19:49 PM

EA will always have quality SP as long as they own Visceral.

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main_event05
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @ 9:41:52 PM

Soon we'll be paying full price for blank discs with a title from EA and whomever follows. I guess they didn't take into account those who don't or very rarely take their gaming online. Like me, (ask Worlds whens the last time he has seen me online).

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Need4Speed11_11
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @ 11:43:57 AM
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Yes I also agree that EA must go back to the drawing board. And while Cousins did say "Money is Money", I think EA could come up with a more strategic way to implement there ads and promo within these aps and sites. And because social networking is at an all time high, its no wonder that Zynga is reaping many benefits from being correlated with Facebook. So not only are microtransactions more efficient, they have they ability to catch the eyes of all ecommerce consumers faster. All EA has to do is find a good outlet to power there ads, and build anticipation about there aps. To add on to what FryLock25 said, that evory game is booming. And there isn't a game/social site where I have not seen there ads yet. And how they are placed, sometimes you can't help but click! Thus, emptying out your pockets in enticement.

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @ 11:56:03 AM
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Well, this is true. For ads, the company will probably only get a set amount based on total sales, while microtransactions can just keep going on. It may seem harmless to the consumer to spend a dollar here or there, but it adds up, and even if you buy, say, 50 things, you're out of pocket $50, and the company will get an additional $50 million dollars, because you can be damn sure that you aren't the only one paying.

Just another method of consumer price gouging, and here I was thinking that EA had put the Evil Empire phase behind them. Such a shame... Oh well, as long as they don't ask me to pay extra for the games of theirs I'm interested in, or get rid of the single player experience, we're cool.
Peace.

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RebelJD
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @ 12:14:56 PM
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It's true. In-game ads are cool to see but they're not good for anything else. Microtransactions is a simple click and pay strategy so of course it's super convenient and super profitable.

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Teddie9
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @ 12:19:47 PM
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If in-game ads were any bigger they could get in the way of our experience with the actual game.

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Hezzron
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @ 12:48:49 PM
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Maybe if EA didn't release games that were so derivative and wannabe-ish of other titles, then they wouldn't have to worry so much about finding the next fad to help them make a buck.

EA wanting to copy someone else....imagine that.

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @ 12:49:53 PM
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And as for Zynga, they are only #2 in trailing M$ for "Most unscrupulous company".

I've read numerous prior articles about how they've allegedly stolen games & ideas from others to get themselves at the position they are now.

Disclaimer: To all unscrupulous M$ & Zynga lawyers, this is only my opinion, so go "F*CK YOURSELVES! Don't even think of suing me, I have nothing & I "GUARANTEE" that you'll get NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!
End of disclaimer.

Last edited by BikerSaint on 12/21/2010 12:50:58 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @ 1:22:37 PM
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I hate to say this, but couldn't they make more money if they just made those billboards changeable online? So when you're online it changes? Maybe it already does I dunno.

I don't have any problem with microtransactions, they need to make more money to bring us high profile games and the content is optional. However, if it breaks the game because the other players didn't buy the stuff (as in unfairly powered weaponry, or you can't play because you can't see them) then that's a problem.

If a guy wants to spend a dollar on a pair of virtual Oakleys I don't care.

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Fane1024
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @ 7:43:09 PM
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I don't get the negativity.

This is a good thing. Voluntary purchases are more profitable than forced, intrusive ads. Hopefully, EA and others will let gullible consumers subsidize ad-free gaming.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @ 8:06:54 PM

I don't get it either.

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___________
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 @ 1:34:41 AM
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you mean like allowing people to spend there own cash on car upgrades instead of having to earn in game cash?
could not believe my eyes when i saw that in undercover!
i mean come on, is the 120 i spent on the game not enough!?
greedy selfish sons of ...........

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