We all like free stuff. But when it comes to video games, getting free stuff can be problematic. People devote hundreds of thousands of hours into making the games we love to play, and they simply cannot afford to give their hard work away for free.
Unfortunately, with video game piracy being a persistent thorn in the sides of video game manufacturers everywhere, the industry has started looking for new solutions.
One of these new solutions is the free-to-play model, which has already been successful in a number of different games. Several major MMOs – including Lord of the Rings Online – have had success with a free to play model, while even traditional games like Battlefield Heroes have demonstrated the ability to generate profit while letting gamers play for free.
Free to play PC games (also known as F2P games) operate by letting gamers play the game for free, but restricting them in certain areas. In order to unlock these areas, gamers have to shell out some cash. You might pay $5 or $10 for a better weapons pack, for example, or pay $20 to unlock a new premium area of an MMO.
High-level video game executives like what they see in today’s F2P games. Some execs – like EA’s Chief Operating Officer Peter Moore – believe that pretty much all video games will be free to play in just 5 to 10 years.
In a recent Kotaku article, the EA COO claimed that micro transactions and free to play are the future of video games. While he believes there were still be some $50 and $60 games for the “hardcore” audience, that’s not where the real money is. As such, video game developers will start to focus more on games that cater to a casual audience.
This comes in the wake of Crytek’s decision at E3, where the famous gaming company behind Crysis announced that all future games after Crysis 3 would be free to play.
What do you think? Will more free games be a good thing? Or is this the end of video games as we know it. Let us know in the comments!