Bigpoint chief lampoons EA, Ubisoft and Valve’s attempts at monetisation

By Brenna Hillier
7 September 2011 00:50 GMT

Philip Reisberger of free to play portal Bigpoint has said traditional publishers don’t understand how to monetise additional content.

“There are millions, hundreds of millions of people willing to invest even though they aren’t obliged to. The crucial part of the design is not having to invest, but wanting to,” the executive told EDGE.

“Most people in the Bigpoint universe don’t ever pay. But if they want to pay, don’t just offer hats – offer them something that will help them,” he added, clearly taking a shot at Valve’s Team Fortress 2, which recently went freemium.

But Valve wasn’t the only one to feel Reisberger’s scorn, as he took on Battlefield 3’s pre-order content – which DICE insists won’t provide any advantage over those without the extras.

“In a nutshell, EA doesn’t understand it. It wouldn’t ruin the game. If selling an advantage ruins the game, you haven’t done the balancing right,” he said.

“EA and Ubisoft, for example, they’re both trying, but they’re not really there yet.”

Reisberger admitted that it’s a trick balance to achieve, and gave a shout-out to his designers.

“All of them have understood how to do this. If you have a sophisticated approach to free-to-play games, in the end you can monetise everything,” he said.

Bigpoint is a free-to-play online games developer and publisher based in Germany, with offices internationally. Some of its better known titles include Battlestar Galactica Online and Dark Orbit.

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