Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Thoughts on Free to Play

In recent years the free to play business model has amassed popularity between devs and players. Popular to players because it is a free game, Developers like it because it opens your game up to a larger audience so that you can hit the smaller audience that you are trying to sell in game items to. In theory this seems like an ingenious concept however I worry about the kinds of experiences both players have. I worry that the players who dont like to spend any money are turned off by the unfairness of being able to buy overpowered items that are never available to you unless you pay. I worry that players that like  to pay for items simply buy all the cool weapons and armor and then the game is too easy for them and they lose interest. As a player that doesnt like to spend money on these sort of things I typically will play a free to play game for a couple of days before i quit and never pick it up again. Games like this that ive played include Vindictus and Microvolts. I enjoyed these games for the two days i played them but i quit because i knew that there was no  way i could be as cool as somebody who had spent loads of money. There are a few exceptions to this. One game that i enjoy once in a while is called Realm of the Mad God. it is a MMO bullet hell shooter with a fantasy theme. I like this game because you dont need to spend loads of money to build your character when it is fun and addiction just to level up. the option to buy weapons and armor are not even available. Instead you can buy encounters with high level bosses that will gain you lots of xp and some rare loot. you are not garunteed the loot though and it is not garunteed what the loot will be. I like this model because although it is technically unfair the player must still work and have fun defeating the boss to get the awesome loot. I think in order to create a successful free to play game, you have to essentially design two different games. one game that is fun for the player that isnt paying, and a game that is fun for the player that is paying. I also think that if players knew that they would be playing for a long. the will be more likely to invest in micro transactions.
these have been my thoughts on free to play.
Jon out.

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