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Are free to play games set to dominate the future of apps?

By Julio Franco ยท 23 replies
Jan 31, 2014
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  1. A recent report ranked the top earners worldwide for free to play games. Topping the list was Tencent's CrossFire and League of Legends, who together took home an annual gross of $1581 million. Media company Nexon grabbed three of the...

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  2. Xtreme gamer

    Xtreme gamer TS Enthusiast Posts: 50   +12

    What game is that the picture of the Tank?
  3. Jackwoz

    Jackwoz TS Member

    Looks like World of Tanks
    ShadowDeath likes this.
  4. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,315   +258

    We will most likely see more F2P games with Microtransactions in the near future.
  5. TechGamer

    TechGamer TS Guru Posts: 370   +40

    that is in fact World of Tanks its quite a nice game you should try it :)
  6. Scshadow

    Scshadow TS Evangelist Posts: 498   +131

    Insane... Freemium is designed to take advantage of one thing: Impulse control or to be precise, the lack of it. Yeah, I know... they aren't even close to being the first to do so. It doesn't really change the fact of how malicious it is. Impulse control is something the majority of humans just don't have. To be more precise again, they just don't have the ability, psychologically, to do it. Physically, they could stop, mentally they are pretty convinced they could stop if they wanted to, but in all reality, they will twist logic uncontrollably until they convince themselves its okay to waste money. Freemium is just a shameless declaration of how developers know in-app microtransactions will trigger your impulses and they are glad to openly exploit it. They've done such a good work of it that the posters below me will actually defend the industry for what it does.
    NoorAdin likes this.
  7. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,164   +832

    I need to add a couple of comments, for example League of Legends is an example on how free to play games whould work.

    Why you might ask? For those not familiarized with Legue of Legends it is an online moba game, the huge deal with micro transactions in this games, is that they only give you visual upgrades you can't buy "items" that will put you on an advantage against other players. You can buy heroes, IP/XP boosts (Consider IP as the in-game currency that allows you to buy runes and also champions).

    Everytime I try a free to play game the first thing I take notice on is the ability to buy items that would give you advantage over other players that can't be gotten the "normal" way, I stop playing right away.

    I've played other games such as Path of Exile, which follows the same example in microtransactions, you can only buy visual upgrades and no game changing items or skills.

    Also I'm very glad to see LoL leading the list and hope other companies take it as an example that you don't need to sell game changing items to be able to actually sell.
  8. ghasmanjr

    ghasmanjr TS Booster Posts: 363   +86

    I was looking forward to Elder Scrolls Online until I saw that it was subscription based. I have hundreds of hours in Skyrim, but I'm not paying to play it with my friends. $12 per month is crap. They're acting like they will be the next WoW. If ESO were free to play, I bet they would do incredibly well in microtransactions.
  9. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Evangelist Posts: 581   +159

    Wouldn't "$1581 million" be $1.58 billion?
  10. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,140   +632

    Almost every f2p game has microtransactions already. Many of them are just cosmetic.
  11. davislane1

    davislane1 Inquisitor Posts: 4,510   +3,510

    This has to be the single worst objection to the freemium model I've read. I was going to ignore it, but the bit at the end about having to be brainwashed to disagree was too juicy a bait to pass up.

    Personally, I don't like freemium. It can be convenient at times but I've never been so enticed by a game so as to participate in the microtransaction system. That said, what I or other customers have the proclivity to do is only the business of the companies so far as their marketing and development teams are concerned. It isn't their (or someone else's) job to police people like some type of corporate nanny and protect them from their perceived lack of spending discipline. These companies are supposed to make money off of video games, not diapers.

    If freemium is a profitable model for companies that use it, more power to them. They put the time, effort, and resources into producing these games, so they have the right to charge whatever they want however they want. If the price is right and the method is right, people will pay. If it isn't, they won't. The success of freemium games only demonstrates that the companies producing them are successfully delivering value to their customers.
  12. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,635   +697

    I prefer the subscription pay model for MMO's. I don't want to have to break out my credit card every two hours to advance in the game. You'll end up paying WAY more than $12 a month. And besides, $12 a month is nothing. You pay that to see a 3 hour movie and you're done. Whereas you can put in 20-60 hours a month playing your MMO for that price, bringing the actual cost down to pennies per hour.
  13. Mooseinadesert

    Mooseinadesert TS Rookie Posts: 25   +8

    I don't even play free to play games anymore unless they are proven to have an honest model. Free to Play often equals having to pay anywhere from $5-30 to look any different from your fellow players, $5-30 for any content, and $5-30 for many necessities in the game. You never get a complete product in a free to play game and instead of earning things people just pay money for them.
  14. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,029   +197

    Yeah But I wish MMO's like wow were more like the old diablo franchise where your great items stayed great. And you did not have to refarm for all you character every other update.
  15. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,315   +258

    I am saying we will see more F2P that* have micros-transactions in the future rather than B2P or P2P games.
  16. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,446   +349

    I like the irony of "Free to play" games making ridiculous revenues, the servers paid for somehow. =p

    One game that is not doing gamers justice as a "Freemium" game is Mech Warrior Online. Almost all cosmetic purchases cost too much, continual rehashes of mech designs and special premium mechs with a bloated price, and of course the painfully slow (almost non-existant) pace of features, both newly discussed and features promised a year (or more) ago.

    If anything, I'd like to see a comeback to the "buy once and it's yours" standalone games which you can basically only find on non-XBox360/One Consoles. You know, you buy it once, you have a -complete- single player game with a supporting (but -complete-) multiplayer component that does not require a third party service to subscribe to... Heck I'd rather see true "expansion packs" come back as well...

    But for many companies that hurts profits so screw that... =(

    That being said I can't FREAKING WAIT until Star Citizen gets into alpha...
    NoorAdin likes this.
  17. I am surprised you guys haven't covered things like World of Tanks or Warthunder.
  18. Who honestly has time to play 20-60 hours of 1 game per month. Do you not have a life/job?
  19. bob333

    bob333 TS Enthusiast Posts: 53   +12

    I disapprove the usage of LoL image on the top of the document.
  20. ShadowDeath

    ShadowDeath TS Booster Posts: 92   +23

    World of Tanks

    Also this should also note that some of these games are Freemium.. not FREE there is a difference. World of Tanks is completely free and you will progress up the tech tree ladder until you hit their 5 where they made it next to impossible unless you pay for a premium account.
  21. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,425   +112

    Kixeye Battle Pirates very popular on their server or Facebook. They also have War Commander, and Vega Conflict space game. They are free games then before you know they have you spending real money to get things done in the game if your cheap then those things weeks or months to complete a fleet of ships. I am cheap so it takes me a very long time. I am not spending real money in free games.
  22. SirGCal

    SirGCal TS Maniac Posts: 365   +136

    The problem is when it is pay to win, instead of pay to play differently. Even SWTOR now has gone to a pay to win setting, even for already subscribers paying $16/month. As a former subscriber, there are achievements/items I can't achieve without real $ turned into 'cartel coins' for the market. Period. But what do you expect from EA...

    I'm all for a free-to-play and micro-transactions design. But it shouldn't penalize paying players forcing them to spend more money to keep up. And ironically, if you're not a paying member, you get even more penalties (only two toons instead of 12 (of which I do have 9 to end-game), only two quick-bars instead of 6, limit of 1M in-game credits (I have had 150M at one time, it's easy to make and items cost upwards of 25M), etc.) These limits on the F2Pers actually are just stupid. And if you are a sub of a long standing (not just a few months) that goes F2P, they also shouldn't have the limits. "Ohh, want to keep playing with all your stuff? Give us $16/month plus micro transactions or go away.". Hence the extreme loss of player base lately. It's all short-term gain, long-term loss.. Ohh ya, what EA excels at...
  23. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,920   +629

    This website is read by people internationally, and $1581 million is the only 100% correct way of saying it. Million/billion means different numbers in different languages.
  24. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Evangelist Posts: 581   +159

    Interesting, I didn't know that. Thanks!
    St1ckM4n likes this.

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