The most significant sectors in the multi-billion dollar gaming marketplace is free-to-play games.
Amongst the most successful of the games is Valve’s Dota 2, which earns nearly 20 million monthly, while its main competitor League of Legends earns that every day.
This style of game (Able to Play, or F2P for short) has capitalised about the player’s vanity and laziness as a way to monetise an otherwise free game. F2P games attract their players vanity by selling them different outfits or hats with regard to their players (which typically sell adequately), and appeal to their laziness by selling strategies to speed up progression from the motu patlu. Neither of such additions are necessary to playing this game though, nor will they actually help the player inside a match, the reason the concept is working very well.
In their design, Free-to-Play games are designed to be long term games. Where Call of Duty franchise releases a fresh game each year, free-to-play games like Dota 2 last for many years with out a sequel, with updates and expansions accustomed to sustain activity. They make more money than standard games, but over a longer period frame.
That said, free-to-play games should be more considerate of their players and do something to protect yourself from alienating them. One particular user may invest several hundred dollars throughout the game, but paying users also need other individuals to try out with. Non-paying users are only as essential to the longevity of the game, in addition to their profits, as paying users are.
The latest statistics on free-to-play games’ earnings. Keep in mind that all except World of Warcraft don’t require something to start playing.
Expecting men and women to place in money to get a game when there’s no practical gain from it seems like strange. But traditionally gamers have scorned games that provide advantages for the money as opposed to skill or effort, preferring systems that are more ‘fair’.
These ‘Pay-to-Win’ games don’t sit well making use of their audience, and wind up driving away a great deal of their communities. Payday 2 is trying to introduce a small amount of pay-to-win mechanics in to the game by way of example, along with the resulting outrage has seen the games user rating drop an entire 10% in a week and server numbers plummet.
However the vanity/laziness kind of models work the most effective for keeping both types of players involved along with the game populated for an extended time frame. Many of the successful free-to-play games stay away from the ‘Pay-to-Win’ model and keep with ones that don’t make paying players any much better than non-paying players.
Nz made Path of Exile has utilized cosmetics as his or her only selling reason for the overall game, refusing to sell anything that offers an in-game advantage. Path of Exile has over 7 million accounts registered with all the game, and possesses just released its third major expansion free of charge. The video game is totally playable free of charge, from beginning to end.
“Some everyone loves cosmetics. They love to exhibit,” Path of Exile’s lead programmer Jonathan Rogers told Polygon.
“There comes a point once you play a game a good deal that this ceases to be a game and yes it becomes a hobby, and laying down extra money for the hobby is not really so strange. It changes the partnership with all the game, causes it to be more personal.”
Though Rogers they “probably would earn more income if they went pay-to-win”, Grinding Gear Games still made enough to pay costs and keep expanding the overall game without alienating players. Only about 2.2% of users in free-to-play games make up nearly half the revenue, so retaining both paying and non-paying players is vital for the motu patlu games online to keep profitable.
The paying players provide income, but the non-paying players help provide critical mass for your game itself. Considering that most free-to-play games are Massively Multiplayer, with thousands of players playing on a single servers as the same time frame, player retention is essential for a free-to-play game.
The alternative method is to make a system where money saves effort and time, but doesn’t offer you an edge over non-paying users. With sufficient effort and time, anything in one of these free games could be unlocked.
League of Legends uses this as part of their scheme for that game. You can aquire new skins to your characters, the same as in Dota 2 or Path of Exile, but you can also buy entirely new characters with money. But concurrently, the newest characters may be earned totally free without having to pay anything. You are able to grind for them, or dextpky33 to them, there’s no difference.
This type of system generally more productive simply because it gives players a motivation to buy something than cosmetics, while simultaneously players who don’t pay aren’t disadvantaged either. Cosmetic-only games still make profits, but of the top four free-to-play games two (League of Legends and World of Tanks) use some form of a period of time-saving system to have money off their audiences. One uses cosmetics because the main selling point (Dungeon Fighter Online), and Crossfire is a pay-to-win Asian title that hasn’t had much success with Western markets.
Wargaming, makers of the massively successful Arena of Tanks, call the concept ‘Free-to-Win’. Almost everything that can be purchased in-game, from better ammo to some better trained crew, might be given money for with earned credits or bought gold. The only problem is the fact this needs time, which happens to be where plenty of users choose to pay.
Hugely successful World of Tanks has was able to have 1.1 million users online at the same time, and states to have over a 100 million registered users.
Jasper Nicholas, Wargaming’s manager to the Asia-Pacific region, explains that “If you’re the type of person who can’t spend three hours to gain a specific number of experience points and you would like to work by 50 %, then you can definitely pay it off. It doesn’t really provide you with almost every other advantage.” The World of Tanks micro-transaction model works very well it averages more revenue per user than any other free to play title.
The down-side to this sort of model is that it often walks an excellent line. All things in a game title could be free, but in some games putting in money eventually ends up being found it necessary to progress. War Thunder for instance, has progression in the game so slow that you just either need months of free time, or weeks with a paid account, to get anywhere. Enough time-saving model works, but it’s hard to perfect.
That’s the whole free-to-play industry in summary though. The ideas work, as evidenced from the big hitters like League of Legends and Dota 2, but perfecting those same concepts for totally different games is tough. Although the base idea, of creating profits off scary maze game that happen to be free to play, has proven itself then some.