With an expected 6 billion dollars in sales by 2011, EA is one of the largest third-party publishers in the world. To reach this level of sales a company must know how maximize its profits. And EA seems to have that area covered pretty well.
It has been discovered, through a weapons menu in the Battlefield: Bad Company beta, that EA is continuing to maximize its profits through microtransactions. The BF Bad Company beta will feature 5 weapons that will only be found in the gold edition of the game or downloadable through XBL Marketplace/PS Store. EA has also shared with IGN that 5 more guns will be sold during a promotional period leading up to the launch of the game on June 23, but will eventually be free after the release of the game. EA clarified that the guns will not give players an unfair advantage, but instead just offer a larger variety to choose from for those who wish to buy them.
As Chris recently so elegantly put it, microtransactions piss me off, and EA has mastered the art of getting more than just the $60 they sell each game for. If it’s not microtransactions, its intrusive in-game advertising. But the question that should be asked is; if microtransactions are so universally loathed, why does EA continue to use them? They wouldn’t unless it was profitable, so maybe they are not quite so hated, as we would like to believe?
[See also: Battlefield: Bad Company gallery]