EA’s Gibeau: “We know what gouging is”

By Brenna Hillier
11 September 2012 01:18 GMT

EA Labels boss Frank Gibeau has said the publisher doesn’t want to “gouge” or “screw” customers, but has crossed the line “a number of times” before pulling back.

Speaking to Kotaku, Gibeau said EA is constantly experimenting with its business and needs consumer feedback to know what works and doesn’t.

“We discover the line as we build games, and we talk to our fans, and they tell us what the line is and sometimes we cross over it and we pull back,” he said.

“Which we’ve done a number of times. If you walk the halls of EA’s creative teams when people are building, there literally aren’t people with knives in their teeth with bandanas on thinking of ways of how to screw the customer. They actually are starting with the notion that they want to make something awesome. They want to make an epic experience.

“We know what gouging is, and, based on what we discover in research, we don’t do a lot of things that we could,” he added.

The executive gave an example of the kind of practice EA could establish: changing the balance of a game so that premium micro-transaction items favour the purchaser.

“That’s something that we found is a non-starter for a lot of console fans. We haven’t done it,” he said.

“It works in Asia famously. But, in the West, that’s exactly an example of something that we just don’t do. Would we make more money? I don’t know. But, based on what I’ve heard from gamers, is if they can buy a 50-caliber sniper rifle in Battlefield 3 that unbalances the entire game – well, it’s not happening.”

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