Saturday, January 21, 2012

Free-to-play damaging game industry?

Yes.... at least according to this Inside Mobile Apps article:
Gamespot is reporting that Olivier Comte, Namco Bandai’s SVP for Europe has come out swinging against the free-to-play model, saying games that follow the model aren’t high quality, and that low-cost games lower the perceived value of games, ultimately harming publishers. 
I am not sure I agree with this completely, however, I would agree with a stronger statement : pay-to-advance games are the real problem (like most of the games on Facebook now are)

There are fun games coming out on Facebook but most do not offer a price-to-buy-full-version or even a subscription model. I tried Hidden Chronicles recently, and although I could see it as a game I could play with my kids, I know, or suspect, I will need to spend enormous amounts of money (or spam friends) in order to continue playing as long as I would like to. THANKS, NOT FOR ME! 

If I could BUY the "full" game, or even pay a monthly subscriptions to to use the game, I would continue playing. 

I guess developers prefer to have a few players spending a lot of money, than offer other options allowing more players to play for less.

Lucrative business model? It is a relatively new model and it certainly worked well for some developers recently but maybe there are signs that players are smartening up?

I certainly hope this will change because I do want to play SimCity online, I do want to a strategy game without having to spend hundreds of dollars like at Kingdom of Camelot or other games Kabam is now pumping out. 

This is why we, at Realm Of Empires continue to offer a subscription model - play indefinitely, enjoying the full game for less then a price of coffee at Starbucks per month. 

Unfortunately Realm Of Empires is now the last game of its kind that offers a subscription, no-benefit-to-paying-players model, at least that I know of.

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