Poll: Should All Games Adopt the Free-To-Play Model?

April 17, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

Earlier this week, King - known for such games as Candy Crush and... uh, Candy Crush - opined that all games should adopt the free-to-play business model.

"The micro-transaction is so strong and it’s definitely a much better model," said King games guru Tommy Palm. "I think all companies have to transition over to that.  If you talk to many hardcore gamers, they’re not happy about it right now, but if you asked them about the long term, 'Do you want to continue playing your favourite game for years to come?' the answer will be yes."

Well, what do you think?  Should all games go free-to-play?  Should it depend on the game?  Is free-to-play a horrible blight on the industry that needs to be abolished as soon as possible?  Vote in this week's poll and let us know!

Due to the holiday weekend, next week's podcast has already been recorded so the poll results will be revealed in a written article next week.

"vote label" © Tribalium / Shutterstock. All rights reserved, used with permission.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen


Comments

Re: Poll: Should All Games Adopt the Free-To-Play Model?

Free to play is alright, but not if they make the game a drag to play if you don't cough up the cash. What is the point to it if the "free" experience is so miserable that you can't enjoy it without spending money? That's not really "free to play" if the free part isn't even worth the entry cost.

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: Poll: Should All Games Adopt the Free-To-Play Model?

"The micro-transaction is so strong and it’s definitely a much better model," said King games guru Tommy Palm. "I think all companies have to transition over to that.  If you talk to many hardcore gamers, they’re not happy about it right now, but if you asked them about the long term, 'Do you want to continue playing your favourite game for years to come?' the answer will be yes."


Dear Tommy,

My collection of videogames going back to the 1980's disagree with you sir. I bought my copy of 'Super Mario Brothers 3' brand spanking new from the Lumberton Wal-Mart in 1990, when I was ten years old. Or, to be more accurate, my parents bought it. It was put on layaway. I had gotten it on the last day of school. This is one of my favorite games on the NES. It is one of the most played games on the NES. I have owned, played, and enjoyed this game for about twenty-four years now. I fully expect to be able to play and enjoy this game for another twenty-four years.

Simcity Social, on the other hand was a Free to Play game that was put up on Facebook on April 14, 2013 by Electronic Arts. The game was shut down barely a year later, along with The Sims Social, another of their Free to Play games that had been out since 2011. This was due to dwindling numbers. Looks like I won't be enjoying either of those two games for years to come. I have nothing against Free to Play games. I'm just not going to drop money on a product that I might not have access to in the near future. If I can't enjoy a free online game without dropping money on it, then I'm not going to play it.

Now, if you'll excuse me I'm going to go back to playing Gran Turismo 4. A game from 2005. Next year this game will be ten years old. It is one of my favorite games on the Playstation 2, that I fully expect to get another ten years out of. Oh, and it isn't 'free-to-play'.

Your argument is invalid, sir.

 -W

Edit: Also, your game sucks.

Consumer responsibility is just as important as Corporate responsibility. So, be responsible consumers.

Re: Poll: Should All Games Adopt the Free-To-Play Model?

Absolutely not!

I want a game that is intended to be entertaining from start to finish and not one that teases with a tinny bit of fun then attempts to get you hooked while gouging you for every penny they can wring out.

I admit to playing a huge amount of World of Tanks, but you CAN exclusively play for free, if you are ok with sluggish growth. (Even they are borderline cut-throat and I try to limit myself on RL$ spent on it.)

----------------------

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong." -H.L.Mencken

Re: Poll: Should All Games Adopt the Free-To-Play Model?

The Olympic Games: they have the word "games" in their name, they're games, right?

So how much do you think would be a reasonable amount to pay for a 10-metre start in the Marathon?

Re: Poll: Should All Games Adopt the Free-To-Play Model?

Disqualification.

Re: Poll: Should All Games Adopt the Free-To-Play Model?

Yes, certainly the entire industry should adopt a model that only sees a third of its players keep playing past the second day, and gets half its revenue from a fifteenth of a percent of its players! (Hey, guess what the rate of gambling addiction/OCD is among the general populace!) I'm sure everybody will rush to take the advice of a pack of one-hit wonders that are already seeing their stock drop.

F2P is not inherently a bad model, but the rush from these greedy, grasping jackals shitting out endless pseudogames that exist only to open their gaping maws and shriek for you to shovel in your cash in promise of entertainment that, if it comes, could have been had for a fraction of the price under regular business models has tainted it.

Re: Poll: Should All Games Adopt the Free-To-Play Model?

No single model can sustain an entire industry.  One might even argue that a single model can't sustain a major company.

Re: Poll: Should All Games Adopt the Free-To-Play Model?

Zynga is learning this the very hard way.

----
Papa Midnight

Re: Poll: Should All Games Adopt the Free-To-Play Model?

I think all games should have some kind of free to try component, whether a demo or just a trial period. Other than that, it is up to the developer how they want to monetize their games.

Re: Poll: Should All Games Adopt the Free-To-Play Model?

I'd say it's up to the market as to how they can monetize their games. The developer has about as much choice in the matter as there are business models that the market is willing to support.

-Greevar

"Paste superficially profound, but utterly meaningless quotation here."

Re: Poll: Should All Games Adopt the Free-To-Play Model?

OUYA!

Re: Poll: Should All Games Adopt the Free-To-Play Model?

Didn't OUYA recently remove the demo requirement?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Poll: Should All Games Adopt the Free-To-Play Model?

They leave it up to the developer now because some devs complained that it was too hard to put in a simple "did they pay for the game" check 30 minutes into playing the game.

 
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