According to video game industry examiner and analyst Michael Pachter, mega-publisher Electronic Arts is planning a new paid “demo” strategy to market and sell its games.
EA’s Chief Operating Officer Nick Earl, in an investor call recently, laid out the company’s plans for premium downloadable content, or PDLC.
This PDLC will give gamers an extended look at a game, for a price, followed by a full, packaged game at retail later on.
“The PDLC would be sold for $10 or $15 through Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, and would essentially be a very long game demo, along the lines of 2009’s Battlefield 1943,” Pachter said. “A full-blown packaged game would follow shortly after the release of the PDLC, bearing a full retail price. Mr. Earl believes that the release of the PDLC first limits the risk of completing and marketing the full packaged version, and serves as a low-cost marketing tool,” said Earl.
Speaking with IGN, Pachter explained the matter further.
“Think about Battlefield 1943 as the prototype, so a full (but short) game experience for a reasonable price,” he said. “At the same time, an expanded version of the game will be under development for release as a packaged product.”
“However, the idea is that if the PDLC gets favorable reviews, it will build word of mouth for the boxed product. If the PDLC has issues, they can tweak the packaged product to address those issues, improving the final product before release,” he added.
This all sounds a bit muddy at the moment. Until official word comes from Electronic Arts we won’t pick this apart too harshly. What do you think though? Pay a small upfront cost, see if you like it, then pay more when the full thing hits. I could get on board.