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EA is earning $650 million a year from a F2P style add-on to FIFA and other sports franchises

By on March 2, 2016

Electronic Arts is managing to have its F2P cake and eating it.


Its sports franchises such as FIFA, Madden and NFL are some of its most popular and successful titles. But it has successfully added a variable pricing model to these game which are now representing around half of their total digital revenue.

The benefits of going F2P are two-fold:

  • Get more customers into your game by eliminating the upfront fee, which is a barrier to entry
  • Unlock latent desire to spend money in your game by allowing customers to spend as much or as little as they like.

With its sports games, EA already had an enormous audience. So it is more interested in unlocking latent spending desire than in generating a bigger audience. Ultimate Team has delivered on this. Speaking to an investor conference and reported by, CFO Blake Jorgensen said that EA’s digital business generated about $1.3 billion a year, of which half came from Ultimate Team. That’s $650 million generated, as well as the upfront costs of purchasing the games.

That is a F2P strategy dropped on top of a full price game. Expect more of this.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: