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EA finally wakes up and smells the freemium coffee, first up is The Simpsons in summer

June 9, 2012

For a company whose mantra is “It’s in the game”, Electronic Arts hasn’t quite been in the game when it comes to tapping into the enormous potential of the freemium games market.

This was actually admitted by EA’s head of mobile and social studios Nick Earl. During an interview with AllThingsD, Earl candidly said that it took the company a long time to move over from the premium games model to the freemium one.

A change of strategy is in the cards, as EA plans to make freemium games its main bread and butter. “There will be a few one-time download games in the future, but they are such the exception, and the norm will be freemium games,” Earl explained. Under this scheme, users can download the games without paying a dime, but they will have to pay up using real money to buy virtual goods that would supposedly enhance the game.

Explaining further why EA didn’t start offering freemium games sooner, Earl said creating such one-time download games requires a different skill set, where the developer must also be ready to support daily active users that go by the thousands and more. Hence, the next few months will all be about quality over quantity for EA, as the company will allocate its resources on creating and launching fewer titles. This was the same approach that EA took on its console business and will now use on its mobile games.

As for the first freemium game that will be launched by EA, gamers can expect to see The Simpsons coming to their mobile devices in summer. The game will let players take on the role of different characters from the beloved cartoon series to rebuild a Homer-incited nuclear-torn Springfield.

We know not everyone’s a fan of the freemium games model, but it’s hard to deny that that’s where the big money is. Is it a yay or nay from you guys on EA’s move towards freemium games?