Extra Credits – Free to Play Is Currently Broken

Not really about MMOs, but certainly could be applicable in some cases, as it takes on the whole “whales” concept in free to play.

(Direct Link)

This goes well with their episode Doing Free to Play Wrong.

7 thoughts on “Extra Credits – Free to Play Is Currently Broken

  1. zaphod6502

    Gamers have brought the current F2P mess on themselves. No one wants to pay for games anymore least of all monthly subscription MMO’s. Publishers have had to adapt or die and actually offer options to the small percentage of the playerbase who is still willing to pay real cash to play a game.

    So when I hear/read people moaning about the current state of the F2P market or having to spend money or being jealous of other players who have paid for the game I just roll my eyes.


  2. bhagpuss

    Some good points but a confused presentation. Criticizing people, who believe “free” mean “free” seems ill-thought-through when you consider the entire problem derives from the game companies’ decision to use, inaccurately, the word “free” in the first place.

    I do agree that “F2P” producers have yet to get a handle on pricing. I’ve played GW2 for two years and literally thousands of hours for no money at all other than the initial box cost. The reasons for that are

    a) they rarely sell anything I want
    b) the things they sell that I do want are priced about 2-3 times above what I think they are worth
    c) the whole game is 100% enjoyable without spending any money at all

    Clearly all of those factors could be adjusted to make me spend more. Whether those adjustments would make other people spend more is another issue entirely.

    I’m so glad I’m a consumer not a producer!


  3. Jenks

    In the first 15 seconds, “we are believers in the free to play model.”


    I watched the whole thing, and that was my takeaway. He has a pretty good grasp on what is wrong with F2P, but doesn’t understand that the only thing that makes it work when it does is scale. If the entire industry moves to it, the industry will sink outside of the mega successes. It will push out everyone in the middle. There aren’t enough gamers on earth to sustain it.


  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    A key problem I have with F2P, which I have mentioned many times, is that making me make financial decisions involving real world money takes me out of the game. And it doesn’t matter if the company uses an interim currency, my brain can do simple math. It will real-world price every items I look at, so I will ask myself “would I spend $5 on that?” (Or, increasingly, $10 or $25 or $60.)

    Most of the time, the answer is no. The only thing I tend to pay for reliably is subscriptions, but I won’t pay one for a game I am not playing. Money is a finite resource, I only have so many hours in the day, and game companies are not charities. My gaming dollars are a zero sum game, if I spend on game X, game Y loses.

    Also, if you looked at the second video, I can also be one of those people who also tends to believe that playing for free can be more fun because it is essentially the closest we’ll ever get to a “hard” mode. At least for iPad games. I am determined to finish Candy Crush Saga without paying King.com a nickel because paying to bypass levels feels like a cheat. Also, they are the new Zynga that rips off other games. Not keen to finance that.


  5. Jenks

    I agree with that 1000%, I’ve been saying the same thing for years about F2P MMOs. I can excuse a multiplayer game like Team Fortress or LoL/Dota selling hats because it doesn’t affect the reason I play those games. In an MMO, my immersion is broken the second I see someone walking around with a hat that they paid for with currency from out of the game world. I’ve seen people refer to the game world as “The Magic Circle” and any type of transaction that crosses it as “Breaking the Magic Circle.” I really like that term.


  6. sid67

    My issue w/ F2P has been and always will be that devs have an incentive to create profits rather than an incentive to make an enjoyable game.

    The ideas are not mutually exclusive but that’s an unreasonable amount of trust to place in the dev. Vote w/ your wallet and stick to games that don’t follow the model and have less incentive to exploit you.


  7. Pingback: Rift Tides: More Casual-Friendly Innovations Unveiled | Kitty Kitty Boom Boom

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