Free-to-play games will eventually threaten the console business, says EA’s Cousens

By Stephany Nunneley, Friday, 5 November 2010 18:42 GMT

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EA’s Ben Cousens said during the London Games Conference today the company believes Battlefield Play4Free and other free offers will “shake up” the console marketplace.

According to Cousens, via Gamespot, “consumer behavior is leading the industry” and in the next two to five years the market will become “seriously disrupted”, during which time EA and other publishers will need to figure out how to “grab the TV screen away from the console manufacturers” by using new tech to tear down barriers to consumers.

Cousens also said during this time the quality of the free-to-play market will cause gamers to ask themselves if a new console is even necessary, unless the manufacturers start making the platforms more open.

“Anyone who thinks in terms of walled gardens is in trouble,” he said in regards to the closed nature of XBLA and PSN’s offerings as the only way to play DLC on each system.

Regardless of what is to come, EA has put its new BF: P4F on the table, and promised it will be a cross between “Battlefield 2 and Bad Company 2” with the “most popular maps” of BF2 and “the familiar classes and powerful weapons” of BFBC2. The game will also link together between itself, Heroes and the upcoming Battlefield 3.

Announced this morning, it goes live in spring 2011 and a trailer was released along with the reveal.

Gamespot has a preview up for it here.

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