EA’s Gibeau: free-to-play and sub-based titles can coexist

Saturday, 8 September 2012 21:06 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

EA labels president Frank Gibeau believes subscription-based games are here to stay in some capacity, but it depends on the the type of game being developed.

Speaking with Kotaku, Gibeau said free-to-play or subscription models aren’t grouped into an either-or category.

“I think subscription is just one way delivering content,” Gibeau said. “In the case of Battlefield Premium, we have a million-and-a-half subscribers and that’s moving along nicely. At the same time, other types of products like Star Wars are probably better positioned around having a free-to-play model.

“With Star Wars, you have a broad-based IP that pulls the widest possible audience, we can bring in a large number of people. I think we’ve been fairly upfront with the fact that we course-corrected on Star Wars because we felt like we were fighting too many headwinds in the marketplace and it needed to be repositioned to fall with what customers were telling us.

“Frankly, when we made the switch, one of the big things that we were concerned with was that the existing subscriber base would freak out. And there will be a subscription layer. If people prefer to pay through subscriptions, they can do that.”

Gibeau said both free-to-play and sub-based titles can and will coexist going forward, but with EA it’s ultimately “bout what kind of game we’re building and then we’ll figure out the business model.”

SWTOR goes free to play in November.