Electronic Arts has announced that it is to release a new instalment of its popular PC game series ‘Battlefield’ entirely free of charge. Instead of being sold retail, ‘Battlefield Heroes’ will be distributed digitally and will seek to generate revenue through in-game advertising and small in-game transactions.
Unfortunately EA declined to comment on what exactly ‘in game advertising’ would entail. However, Ben Cousins, senior producer at EA Dice, told BBC News that no ads would be appear in the game itself, but that they would instead appear on the Web site and the ‘front-end’ of the game.
Although this release will represent EA’s first foray into ad-funded gaming in Western markets, a free version of its Fifa Soccer series has been available in South Korea since 2006. Users can spend small amounts on extra kits or skill-sets for their players.
The in-game transactions in Battlefield Heroes are likely to work similarly, with users purchasing new virtual outfits or attributes for their characters. However, Cousins told the BBC that E.A. expected 95 percent of people who played the game never to spend any money, suggesting that the ad revenue should be sufficient to finance the entire game.
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