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EA won't have microtransactions in all future games, exec clarifies

Electronic Arts chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen clarified today that while all of EA's future games will support the ability to include microtransactions, that doesn't mean that all of them will actually have them.

Speaking at today's Wedbush Technology Conference in New York City, Jorgensen said that last week's statement was more in reference to some of the new technology that EA is working on that will allow the publisher and developer to handle in-house credit card processing, digital downloads and "manage a world in which there are more and more micro-transactions as part of what we offer."

"I made a statement in the conference along the lines of 'We'll have micro-transactions in our games' and the community read that to mean all our games, and that's really not true," he said. "All of our mobile games will have micro-transactions in them, because almost all of them are going to a world where they are play for free."

The comments come a week after Jorgensen told a similar gathering that the bigger piece of the business is microtransactions within games.

"The real core of the microtransaction business is within the mobile part of our business which is the free-to-play business."

"We're building into all of our games the ability to pay for things along the way, either to get to a higher level, to buy a new character, to buy a truck, a gun, whatever it might be," he said.

During today's talk, Jorgensen went on to talk about Electronic Arts published racing iOS game Real Racing, noting that someone could play the game for free or pay to upgrade and repair their vehicles.

"You could play this game for the next three years and never pay a penny on it," he said, "or you could play and immediately upgrade and get more excited about the game. Consumers love that."

Jorgensen went on to say that for non-mobile games EA is looking at the sort of additional transactions that are more like extensions of a product then like a microtransaction. One example, he said, is Battlefield Premium, which helps the publisher extend the life of the shooter.

"It allows someone to take a game that maybe they played for 1,000 hours and play it for 2,000 hours," he said. "We are very conscious that we don't want to make consumers feel like they're not getting value. We want to make sure consumers are getting value.

"The real core of the microtransaction business is within the mobile part of our business which is the free-to-play business."

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