Games that give players access to a significant portion of their content without paying
Free-to-play video games do not require payment to continue playing. Free-to-play differs from traditional commercial software, which requires payment before the game or service can be used. It is also different from free games, commonly referred to as freeware, which are completely costless. The free-to-play model is sometimes ridiculed as free-to-start for not being completely free. There will be monetization with virtual items that players can purchase during the game. It has been demonstrated that there are many motivations for gamers to purchase such items. Including free play, social interaction with other gamers, competition and economic arguments.
The game is free, and players can make micro-transactions to purchase items, but they can also opt for a subscription. which gives them access to bonuses. This is the same principle as the typical lounges in airports that are reserved for business or first class passengers. All players play the same game, but some players are VIPs. Freemium targets the three to five percent of players who are heavy consumers of a given game. This works best for very rich and involved games. There should be enough items to sell through micro-transactions and room for an added layer of amenities reserved for those. who pay monthly subscription. Needless to say those extra features are really worth it! That’s why we’ve rarely seen this monetization model implemented outside of the MMO genre. Titles like Pokemon Go, Fortnite and Apex. Legends has all been major freemium successes in recent years, monetizing their player base on an impressive scale. Yet for every great success in this market, many others disappear without a trace. Players often move quickly to new games, perhaps because of the simplicity of these games; Or maybe because they feel much less commitment than never before. Developers design games to allow people to play for as long as possible and to maximize the number of people switching from free play. This has contributed to fears that games are addictive, leading experts to coin the phrase “gaming disorder”. Freemium games stir up an interesting debate over whether the benefits outweigh the negatives. For starters, it’s a win-win situation for both consumers and developers when a game is released for free. It allows users to play, test and determine if they enjoy the game enough to play without loss of money.
Why many MMOs shifted to this model
Because it is so much better as a business model. Everyone knows that subscriptions are a barrier to adoption: you have to persuade people to get over the hurdle of committing to a regular payment. What fewer people realised is that it was also a barrier to revenue. The people who love the game want to spend lots of money on it just like, for example, the way a committed football fan spends lots of money on his favourite team. Removing the subscription enables many players to try the game and enables those people who love the game to buy things that they value in it.
This might impact the future of gaming
The free-to-play pay model for video games is proving increasingly popular, leading many to wonder what players can expect in the future. With titles like Fortnite, Apex Legends, Smite, and Warframe, developers are finding that, when the upfront cost of these experiences is reduced, players can add additional features to the game. In fact, we’ll probably never see this type of payment method completely replacing full-price games. However, we can expect it to become a viable secondary game-type for many publishers. When that becomes the norm, as more free-to-play titles release, we could see alternative revenue methods implemented that could either ease the cost for many players or provide a little more stability for developers and publishers. The movement of free-to-play gaming from primarily mobile platforms to full console games is something that will likely have a significant impact on the gaming industry as a whole. As more players jump into titles like Warframe or Fortnite, other publishers and developers will want a piece of the pie, yet there’s only so much to go around. It will be interesting to see how the industry manages that side, but with the right franchises and effective brand deals, the free-to-play movement could be here to stay.