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F2P FIFA Quadrupled EA's Money In Korea

Matt Gardner
Andrew Wilson, EA Sports, F2P, Fifa, FIFA Online, Football games, Freemium, South Korea, Sports Games

F2P FIFA Quadrupled EA's Money In Korea

A Sports' Andrew Wilson has suggested that by chaning the business model from packaged retail goods in Korea to a free-to-play setup, the business quadrupled in value.

Talking to VentureBeat, Wilson noted a $75 million increase since shifting strategy.

"I think when we had a packaged-goods FIFA based in Korea, I think we were at about a 25 million dollar business down there," he said. "I think what we've talked about publicly is that these days, that's nearly a 100 million dollar business. That's a free-to-play experience."

Although FIFA Online was launched directly in response to Korean consumer demand, EA Sports have been consistently pushing towards a more online, connected experience across a wide range of their products over the last year or two. As Wilson, suggests, flexible business models, or at least certain elements of those models, might well make their way west.

"[FIFA Online] is built off a quality experience - a high-quality, great, 11-on-11 twitch-based experience," he continued. "It's just a different business model. And I think we'll see some of that continue in the west.

"But we're prepared for that. We're prepared to deliver great quality games, and we believe that great quality games, regardless of what business model we go to market with, they monetise at a high rate."

Add a comment 1 comment
socialjeebus  Jun. 12, 2012 at 03:43

Mmmm, what he fails to mention is that the physical entertainment retail is virtually non-existent in Korea, bar the couple of game/dvd shops/stalls at big electronics markets, most notably Yongsan. Virtually everything is done online anyway (even those physical stores - all independent too, I must add - provide the bulk of the online retailers too). There's no chains like GAME, HMV or Gamestop, in fact Homeplus (Tesco) is probably the closest to any kind of gaming retail chain, but most of them don't stock games either. However some bookstores do sell games though, though generally Nintendo only.

People don't play games at home in the same way that people back in the West or even in Japan do.

Most people play online games at internet cafes (PC Bangs) or console games at Multi-bangs (similar to internet cafes but with PS3, Xbox 360s and Wiis).

So FIFA, realising this (and the high level of piracy) switch to a Free Play model and find they make more money. Not surprisingly really. Still peanuts compared to the original Starcraft though.


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