EA are releasing a free downloadable game this summer, supported by ads in the front end, and microtransactions. Called Battlefield Heroes, it blatantly has the aesthetic of Team Fortress 2, but the focus seems to be on casual gamers who might be moving toward more complex games. It’s interesting to see an Asian business model coming to the West with the backing of such a big publisher. They appear to be taking the right approach so far too; it’s hitting a huge amount of “2008 relevance buttons”, as reported on the BBC:
Ben Cousins, senior producer at Dice, told BBC News that no adverts would be appear in the game itself.
“They wouldn’t work inside the fictional world. Instead, adverts will appear on the website and the ‘front-end’ of the game.”
Gamers will be able to buy items which customise their appearance in the world, but will not be able to seek an advantage through buying weapons.
Mr Cousins said Battlefield Heroes was about exploring new revenue models as well as making a game more accessible.
“I’ve always felt there was some really good fun core gameplay which was locked away by several barriers to entry: the game is complex, it is full of skilled people, you need quite a high-end PC on which to play and you need to go to store to purchase a copy.”
“We’re removing all barriers to entry and we hope there is broader audience for the title. You will be able to play this game on grandma’s laptop.”