Free-to-Play Video Games On the Rise
In-game costs becoming more popular than one upfront fee.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: July 7th, 2012
s iPhone games that are free to play (but offer in-game enhancements that cost money) become more popular, more companies—including big ones like Activision— are jumping on board. The set-up of having people pay as they go through the game for various things like power-ups, different weapons, and extra gear, works well because not only does it prevent someone from experiencing sticker shock from an expensive game, but also may lead to them spending more money in the long run just on extras.
Free-to-play, or F2P, refers to any video game that offers its players to download and play without paying. It was first made popular with things like the iPhone's Angry Birds, and while it sounds a lot like a shareware game, the difference is that while shareware games often restrict their content to only making about a quarter of the game available to play, F2P games usually offer much more.
One downfall of F2P games is that sometimes users think of them as uncool, thanks to the age-old saying, "You get what you pay for."
But one downfall of F2P games is that sometimes users instantly think of them as being uncool or kind of crappy—the age-old saying of "you get what you pay for," basically, but one video game developer says he hopes that connotation changes: "Our hope—and the basket we're putting out eggs in—is that 'free' will soon be dissociated with 'shallow' and 'cruddy'."
There are plenty of games already available for free play (link), but the most notable one that's coming up is Activision's Call of Duty. In its latest incarnation, the company will try to help its players enjoy the game in a different way, by selling them in-game upgrades little by little.
It's only offered in the Chinese market for now, but Activision's chief executive, Bobby Kotick, seems confident in its ability to succeed as a platform, saying, "The game is incredible. How you play, what you play, customization of weapons, the types of characters, the equipment you use, the game modes, and the maps are all unique to the Chinese market."
The company says they view it as a risky move, but a good, worthy experiment.
Have you used any F2P games lately, or would you consider doing so? What do you think about having to pay consistently for all the features instead of paying once?