Electronic Arts believes the future of gaming will be freemium.
While the publisher has stressed that freemium titles will apparently be the future of the gaming industry, the firm itself isn't too keen to currently divert their efforts into freemium games. Interactive senior VP Nick Earl explained:
"The future is not about one-time payments, the future is about freemium. A decent number of people convert to paying and they may not pay a lot but most of them actually pay more than you’d think."
Gaikai and OnLive have certainly been making their mark on the industry, but Earl believes that the freemium formula may not be a good fir for consoles yet. He does, however, envision that the model is adapted by platforms eventually.
"I don’t know if freemium gets to console but I do know that humans like free stuff. I also know humans who will pay for something if they’ve tried it out and they like it. I’ve wondered if freemium expands beyond the tablet, Facebook and smartphones, and out into consoles? I don’t think it’s impossible for that to happen."
The freemium model has worked phenomenally well for PC games in particular. Team Fortress 2 is undoubtedly a good example, while League of Legends has overthrown subscription-based World of Warcraft in becoming the most-played PC game.