Is Free-To-Play “Inevitable”?

Electronic Arts’ Chief Operations Officer said yesterday that he believes a move to free-to-play, for all games, is inevitable.

Pretty bold and startling stuff, particularly coming from someone that senior in the industry.

Bloggers have been reacting to both that statement and Arena.net’s comments about Free To Play in the last couple of days – so, does the blogosphere agree that F2P is the only Way 2 Go?

  • The Mighty Viking Hamster considers the example of LoTRO’s F2P history as he examines the rationale for F2P games“Time and time again you see VIP players on the Turbine forums question the viability of sticking with their subscriptions when they could feasibly buy all the content they need with their amassed TPs. As time passes this conundrum will become more relevant to old time subscribers and it is something Turbine has to contend with sooner or later. “
  • Ben at Diminishing Returns examines Arena.net’s claim that F2P games are more fun“Few people have the money and interest to subscribe to 5+ different MMOs simultaneously, but if you are playing 5 F2P titles you can jump in to different games on different nights according to what content takes your interest and what your friends are doing.”
  • Keen argues that F2P games are driven by exactly the same non-fun business motives as subscription-based titles“That doesn’t mean the other teams aren’t hard at work coming up with ways to get you into that cash shop or earn money. Business is competitive, and there’s no such thing as a ‘nice business decision’. “
  • And Chris at Level Capped makes a very interesting point I’ve not seen anywhere else – that in F2P games, gamers really do get to vote with their wallets“When the revenue stream for a game comes solely from delivering a well regarded product first, and collecting money second, people have an actual, meaningful voice every time they decide whether or not to buy that expansion, that gun, or that XP boost.”

What do you think? Is F2P inevitable?


Share