Free-to-play is the "most consumer-friendly" pricing model, says Eugene Evans, industry veteran and vice president of EA-owned studio BioWare Mythic. Speaking at games industry conference Develop in Brighton, England, Evans called free-to-play "the democratisation of game prices."
BioWare Mythic's Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes is part of EA's Play4Free portfolio. Evans emphasised the increasing significance of games funded by subscription or microtransactions.
"I know people have issues with it, but in my mind it's the best and most consumer-friendly [pricing]," said Evans. "Free-to-play is hugely important. We've been driving the price down to free."
Deep, engaging games are the solution to player resistance to the evolving model, Evans said: "The lower the price, the better your product needs to be…especially if it's going to stand out…Any notion of 'pay to win' means we've done a bad job of it."
"Draw them in to a point where they want to say, I want to give you money, and they'll do it and enjoy it, and they'll pay you for it."
On the next generation of games consoles, Evans predicts the winning platform holder will be the one that best shifts its online community to its next machine.
"The transition we're about to go through, with the inevitable new consoles…for the first time, [console makers] have connected communities on their existing device…a key will be how they migrate them. The company that does that best will be the most successful."