Sunday, March 30, 2014

EA USES ORIGIN TO EDGE UP THEIR PROFIT MARGIN

What we now have on gaming news sites is a wall of comments on how Dead Space is available as a free download at EA's Origin service. Yahoo! Good for gamers I say, so here is what I did, I opened a free Origin account. After all I am an oddball gamer since I don't have Steam account. I decided that it might be a good learning experience to see what online gaming has to offer at Origin. Maybe later I go and check the Steam and compare the two.

WAIT A MINUTE WHERES ULTIMA?

Is it just me or does it feel strange to get online gaming under the name Origin instead of Ultimas? Granted, you have to be an old timer to remember those days. Younger generation is much more accustomed to own something digital. For me it is important to have that game as a physical product, which I can later on sell if I feel like it.

Well no point of feeling sorry for Origin as it has been in Electronic Arts stable since 1992. On that ownership department nothing has changed and younger generation hasn't even heard of Ultimas since the plug was pulled. For the rest of us the name comes with some sort of pedigree. Really nice branding move from EA. Although for me it is especially difficult to move past the fact of putting Privateer Online on the shelf.

AFTER STEAM AT FULL STEAM

Obviously EA hasn't gotten enough steam behind their effort to match the sales of the Steam. All the time I have been in business life a free offer has been an attempt to get some solid assets (customers) under your feet. So what we got here is a failure to compete head to head with the current industry leader and some extra oomph was needed.

NOT LIKE THIS

I doubt that Dead Space is that extra oomph. It lacked the sales then and it will lack the interest now. It is just thrown into the mix because the title doesn't bring in any money in any case. Basically this is a scenario of too little too late.

What they should do is to combine Titanfall-like visibility into a free-to-play and recoup their losses in future from much bigger user base. Unfortunately once financial powerhouse EA is reeling from mixture of bad decisions and market trend changes and can't digest this sort of up-front investment at the moment. Origin service is not going to pick up speed any time soon.

WHY IT IS A LIFE AND DEATH MATTER FOR EA?

Games are leaving dedicated chains like GameStop and being introduced in household chains, which are master cost-cutters and price squeezers. This will lower the margin a game publisher will get from sold unit. You don't have to be a Holmes to see that revenue from games is slipping and the only way to maintain the margin is to deliver directly to consumer retina. EA needs Origin to retain as much profit for themselves as possible. This is the single biggest key to a solid finances for EA and it is strange how little they are pushing into it.

THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT

Set all classic EA games as free-to-play on Origin and drive hordes of new users into the service. When everybody and their moms are in they never want to leave, because all their stats and playmates are there too. You don't want to give up your accomplishments and the longer you spend on Origin the more history you get with the service and everything it has to offer.

Do it this way and there is a good chance Origin vs Steam will be like Xbox (One) vs PS3 (4) currently is.
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