The lights are on
Power Member - Level 9
I'm not exactly sure when the
phrase "free-to-play" became ingrained in our lexicon, but it's a business
model that has its roots in the PC freeware business of the 1980s. Of course,
back then the ways to extract money from customers were far less developed.
What started as games supported by an advertising or demo model has moved into
the "freemium" generation, where in-game items or member services are the
primary source of income.
am not here to say I hate free-to-play games, or capitalism for that matter. I
thoroughly enjoy playing free-to-play games, and who doesn't like making money?
The business model does not define its entertainment value. Nor does paying for
the entertainment make it a rip-off. Games are expensive, and the hard-working
men and women of game development deserve compensation for their amazing
am, however, slowly but surely becoming annoyed at the straight-faced lies that
game publishers and developers deliver in the freemium space while they inform
me how lucky I am to be playing their product for "free."
have lost count of how often I have been told by developers and publishers that
people who spend money in a freemium game don't get an advantage over people
who don't pay. This is true in some cases, but I am seeing an alarming trend
where opening up the wallet not only leads to advantages in-game, but in
essence is making games more expensive than they would have been at that old
industry standard of 60 American dollars.
are able to unlock weapons faster in first-person shooters, ensuring that the
army with the biggest pocketbook has an advantage over pure skill. Leaderboards
will always be questioned on whether the player was good or just had the cash
to keep purchasing "gems" or whatever other made-up monetary device the game
employs. Or what about RPGs, where you can refill meters that let you kill
monsters that would normally be beyond your power, or level and gain attributes
at a faster pace?
you have to buy your way to victory? Certainly not, but these developers are
preying on our competitive instincts to line their pocketbooks. Is it a fair
exchange? It really depends on the game and how each person feels about parting
with their hard-earned dollars. It does concern me, however, that the hardcore
fans tend to be the ones covering the bill for those who are unwilling to pay.
The playing field -suffers when the rules can be bent for just a few dollars
Email the author Andy McNamara, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
I'm all for paying for things in game as long as it isn't a "pay-to-win" model.
I think everyone is looking at the success of F2P games like League of Legends. But what they don't understand is that, you get a good portion of the game for FREE. AND you can still unlock things (characters, rune books) using the in-game currency by just playing the game. Paying for things, just makes this process faster. You can even buy power-ups to increase the rate at which you accumulate the in-game currency. Some items I believe are purchase only but they're ALL cosmetic. This has no bearing on the skill of the game. It's a completely optional purchase to show love for your favorite characters.
League of Legends is successful because they understand what to monetize in the game. The game allows for purchases using in-game currency never forcing anyone to feel like they have to purchase anything. They constantly give "free trial" weeks for different characters so that you can be comfortable in your purchasing decisions. I've seen players purchase items because they WANT to support the game they enjoy so much. They've been playing it for free and want to give it up to the devs for making such an awesome game.
This is microtransactions done right. I think it's frightening for gamers to see a company like EA with such a bad track record going into this model without the game being free.
I understand that Cliffy B was trying to defend EA and compare microtransactions to Valve. The example he gave was that you could buy an engagement ring in TF2 for $100 or so. BUT it's an engagement ring. THIS IS NOT SKILL BASED. This has no bearing on the game. The user purchasing this item knows that it is all for show and not for skill. Dead Space 3's microtransactions were related to in-game scavenging used to upgrade your guns. That is a huge part of the game.
This is where gamers are uncomfortable with the situation that EA is laying out. At what point will EA take it where you NEED to buy stuff to make the next weapon since the drop rate of the item you need is 0.0001%. As gamers, we are completely aware of capitalism and completely understand it. Companies need $ for the games that we love and we understand we need to support them. However, we're not going to put up with corporate greed f***ing with our games.
I already personally do not purchase EA games if I can help it. I don't agree with their decisions in buying up great studios and always pushing the corporate angle on them. I understand that you need to make money but EA is a company that refuses to take risks and pushes out mediocre games. By trying to please everyone, they please no one. This is not a game company that I want to support. So throwing in microtransactions to speed up gameplay in a $60 game is just another reason not to support them.
I completely agree. It's not like we're forced to pay money, but it's unfair for those who don't. I've never bought a micro transaction and never plan on doing so. Things that can be earned by playing or bought with currency earned in game are alright in my opinion, even if the process can be sped up with paying a few bucks; but enhancing a player's ability for monetary gain is completely unacceptable.
I miss playing Maplestory.
well said andy, i've bought in-game stuff before on games but its usually only a cosmetic thing ...and i hate myself for it at times. :/