In the quest to learn more about the gaming market, you sometimes have to scratch your head at oddities in the gaming world.
Here, executive producer Patrick Bach tells OXM, ‘If you’re giving it away, why couldn’t you give it away earlier?’ There were a lot of complaints.” This is in response to the “flack” received when EA released Battlefield: Bad Company 2 maps as free DLC, yet got an almost unanimously positive response when it put out a slightly larger map pack and charged for it.
The major complaint is how EA “broke” the game by allowing people to have earlier access to game items for those that preordered. Having a better weapon before anyone else leads to more kills which discourages others from playing, but it seems that complaint is ignored by EA. Bach goes on to discuss how they had a new map pack for 1200 Microsoft points ($15) had a more positive response.
But how can you compare a better weapon from a preorder to a different map that everyone might want to play?
Bach then makes the questionable comment: “Consumers are not used to getting things. There are no free lunches, and people get very suspicious when they get something for free.”
Then my Valve sense tingled.
For 4 years, Team Fortress 2 has been a quasi free game. Recently, it changed into a Free to Play game. They actually have a way to keep the community together by taking away barriers to entry. Of course, if you buy a game on Steam, you can get a new hat, a new weapon, or a new item to show off more ego.
Within the game, items are dropped randomly, allowing you access to make newer weapons or try out weapons for yourself. For free.
Further, you never have to pay for a map but if you want, you can support the map makers from the store in the game. Here are the maps for the TF2 community. It’s your choice to support the community. You don’t have to pay for the game if you don’t want to.
How can EA’s Bach say that something for free is actually a harmful thing? I’ve no idea, but at the very least, he should look a little more closely at why people will complain about certain problems in a game.