EA CEO Talks Free-to-Play, Investors’ Lack of Understanding

In an interesting interview with CNBC, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello says that the company's recent decline in its stock price isn't due to the business, but to a lack of understanding in how the business works on the part of investors. For starters industry's focus on NPD's packaged game sales numbers is "misguided," and ignores the current strong shift towards digital sales – which NPD doesn't have a handle on yet. He points to their success with games on Apple's platforms as well as on Facebook.

He also talks about how the free-to-play market is challenging and that they are considering several future options for "different models to bring more users into [The Old Republic]." He did not say the game would go free-to-play. Recently EA announced that players could enjoy the MMO up to level 15 without paying a dime.

In the same interview Riccitiello said that there is a misconception that you don't make money off "free-to-play" games, noting that some players pay upwards of $30 a month to buy things in-game. Certainly EA sees the value of free-to-play games or wouldn’t have an entire division dedicated to the space…

You can check out the entire interview in this video.

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