EA COO Peter Moore, who thinks we'll be seeing the free product plus microtransaction business model trump the up-front cost of a retail box.
In an interview with Kotaku, Moore laid it out: "I think there's an inevitability that happens five years from now, 10 years from now, that, let's call it the client, to use the term, [is free.] It is no different than... it's free to me to walk into The Gap in my local shopping mall. They don't charge me to walk in there. I can walk into The Gap, enjoy the music, look at the jeans and what have you, but if I want to buy something I have to pay for it."
Moore says that free-to-play works in favor of the industry because it constantly brings in new players -- and new potential buyers. He acknowledged that some gamers might be entrenched in how business has always been done in the past, but it will change no matter what. He pointed to the downfall of Blockbuster and Tower Records as examples of companies that didn't adapt to a rapidly changing landscape, declaring that EA is determined not to stubbornly stick to the past.