Free to Play - love it, hate it, depends on the game?

10
VINTAGE Games #8 6 86

Curious as to how people feel about free to play, across all implementations / platforms.


Thoughts?

15

I tend to play more free to play games than I do paid.. the downside is some of them make the gameplay repetitive to an extreme and offer nothing without spending money on in-app purchases. I will say Im much more likely to install a F2P than a trial or paid app.. unless its something I have experience with or unless there were tons of reviews, hype, etc..

18
Tim Ruswick #1 89 2068

Being a marketing guy at heart, its really hard to make me buy something. Because while their marketing is trying to make me buy, im observing and dissecting it. I also have a weird thing about purchasing apps and stuff...i tend to remake tools I need. Weird I know.

But! That being said...there is a game called triple town. Free to play. I downloaded it and it was insanely addicting...and then they limit your turns...so you have to pay $1.99 for unlimited turns. But the thing was...you didnt just run out of turns...no...they gave you a few more every day. Had I just run out of turns I probably would have never picked it up again...but the fact that i run out of daily turns and could pick up my game...it would always make me want ONE MORE TURN after mine ran out.

I made it like 3 days with limited turns and I had to buy it.

I think that is the only game hat has ever really worked on me as far as marketing goes. Had the game sucked though, they never would have gotten my money...so you have to have a good product for it to work.

TBH never really saw a difference in monetization models until that day...because tehre was no way in hell i would have bought that game had I not played it first. And if they just had a time demo or something I probably wouldnt have bought it either.

Just my $0.02

14
InstantLife #98 47 315

i prefer bought downloaded games... i hate subscriptions, hidden fees, stupid hooks, and just paying for something like that because usually free to plays are MMO's with other tied in ways of making money... and since there is the whole social aspect of MMO's of course you want to look cool or impress other players so they have you pay for stuff if u dont want to look like a no0b... i just avoid most things labled "free to play" or anything over accentuating on the"FREE" cuz its most likey its a gimmick... but if you consider free chill downloadable indie games "free to play" then i am down for some of that...

14
Dizzy Media Inc. #13 31 395

It all depends I guess, I like paid games because there is less ads and such that get in the way of direct gameplay but free to play games are quicker to access and cheaper (obviously lol). As developers we do have to remember that free to play games are still someones hard work and effort to make something you can enjoy, in some sort of way they should be getting credit/paid for their time put in. Which is why the ads don't really bother me all that much when they are there.

My games will be sold for a price but I feel if I did make a free to play game it probably would be like someone said above, level design repetative so the game can be made quicker, you need time to work on the projects that will bring income afterall.

A big point though is that free to play games can get you a lot of community respect and support as everyone loves free games, so in that light, if you make a badass free to play game, you can still accomplish what you would with a paid game :) All depends on how good the game is, always!

10
VINTAGE Games #8 6 86

interesting thoughts everyone!! BIG OL RESPONSE INC. /ducks

SquigglyFrog Studios

I agree in a big way! I feel like there has to be a better balance that still encourages spending on some level, but promotes more gameplay. I've been interested in a free to play experience for a few hours so many times, but I'm able to see behidn the curtain / figure out the "oooh, I'm just fighting faster pallette swaps of this thing for another 4 straight hours" mechanic before I'm ever compelled to pay any money.

Six Guns (Gameloft...big shock) was such a game - An hour or so in, I was impressed by the f2p-open world thing it had going on. A few hours later, it showed me its f2pness. /rimshot :D

Tim Ruswick

I'm there w/ ya. I will try out 4000 free solutions before spending 99 cents on the clearly-better one. I will grind for 5 hours rather than spend 2 bucks shortcutting. I love the case-study aspect playing as a free player, and ah-hah momenting every time they try to funnel me into a paying user.
That's crazy that Triple Town got you! :) That's a rather forgiving f2p energy-regen model. They make the over-time regen a rather intense wall, but make the price really cheap and permanent. I've played both this type, and the type that let you pay for decreased regen time / tons of auto-fill potions, etc. I still have yet to pay for either type.

Interesting feedback man - thanks! I will say that I've done the "watch an ad, earn a bit of currency" thing quite a bit in a few free to plays. I've just never quite spent the dollar.

I have bought into content-based f2p - demo = first chapter, pay for chaps 2-10.

InstantLife



I've never been one for subscription-based either. That even extends to stuff like Xbox Live GOLD / PS+... I don't like paying for access to something. Makes me obsess about playing it too much.

I've personally never felt compelled to buy cool-looking images / gear in an mmo... I'm 27 so maybe that's a younger generation thing? I just don't put any monetary value in the appearance of an in-game character.

It's worth still paying attention to free stuff... Plants vs. Zombies 2 is one of the best free to play model games I've played. A TINY bit unbalanced / "please spend money", but it's the friendliest I've ever played. I had a great time playing for free for a good 5-10 hours.

Dizzy Media Inc.


Nice to hear someone say that :) I worked on a free to play farming sim game, and while it might not have been my dream / the best use of my talents, I busted my ass 60 hrs a week planning promos, balancing new items, creating content, making events, etc. It's a nasty, unceasing full time job to manage them!

Personally, I haven't designed much in the way of free to play either. I'm with you - I still design traditional pay-once games.

Great point about community building - free games and their low barrier of entry are a great way to get your name out there. Some tiny little week-long game may never sell anything at 99 cents, but you might get thousands of players interested in your name / company if you give it away for free!

Awesome responses guys!

11
50/50 Studios #118 4 108

FTP/PTP/Micro doesn't matter to me if the game is good I'm will to invest in it, if the game is bad, I'll still try it but I won't do a monthly subscription

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