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What are your thoughts on free to play (F2P) games?

Posted by 3gsid, 31 January 2014 · 1152 views

free to play F2P Puzzles and Dragons
Hello there everybody!

Lately I have been thinking about Free to play games, or in a lot of instances pay to win games.

My general thought is that I don't like them, and that their existence paints a bleak image on the future of gaming as we know it today.

Through how much less the development costs are compared to your AAA game, and how much potential profit there is, it makes me wonder when other big companies will jump ship to this model.

I do however stand on a ground where I can say that it can be done right however.

I have lately been playing Puzzles and Dragons after a friend suggested it to me. To me at least, the game is fair at most points and is easy to get into. I think it personally is a okay pick up, play, and put down. However, it is isn't without it's quirks. Mainly that being once you reach a certain point in the game, it gets harder to even do anything if you don't have the right team (Looking at you Satan's Castle).

But regardless, with few exceptions, I do not like the free 2 play model at all.

What is all your thoughts on the matter?

The issue at hand is that monetization always influences design.


There's nothing inherently wrong with the idea of games that you don't have to pay to enjoy. But "Free-To-Play" is a misleading term. While basic access is granted without any expectation of money, the games are still designed around the idea of payment. The fact that payment is optional does not change the sweeping influence that this monetization model has on the design of the game. Sooner or later everything in the game ends up revolving around the monetization in some way


There's a lot of potential for this style of game. But in order for their to be more positive experimentation, we need to see a few free-to-access games that aren't so heavily driven by the desire for money. We will see more of this from smaller, low-to-no budget developers. When the initial investment is low to nothing, there is nothing to lose, and more freedom to experiment.

I'd like to further segregate the genre into 'Freemium' or 'Pay2Win' vs 'F2P'. Freemium and Pay2Win are what I do not like. Games like Candy Crush and Forza 5 are disgusting. They are built around trying to get people to pay. Making it harder to progress or obtain in-game object by making not paying take 100+hours for 1 item.


Then you have true F2P like League of Legends where the game is free, and the only reason to buy something is skins. It in no way helps your game, just cosmetic stuff to support the developers.


Guild Wars is the best example of the middle ground and no other game is like it. You can buy stuff like storage space, etc.


Seeing every single XB1 game exclusive, even that golf game and Crimson Skies, have macrotransactions is despicable and just shows the future of that console.

I've played DDO as a free to play person since the day it went Free to Play.


I love it. The biggest problem I had was that they eventually let you buy character upgrades and items for cash.


I don't mind paying for some quests, but that was a bit much for me.


That being said, I play a lot less, but still enjoy the game. I never played any other F2P games, so I can't speak for them, but DDO has been pretty good to me.

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