The name is as ugly as the concept. ‘Paymium’, where you’re encouraged to buy content in a game you’ve already paid for, has been lurking in the shadows for years, but it’s become overt with the arrival of a new generation. This is particularly true on Xbox One, where the model has been embraced wholesale, with… Continue reading
From just a distant drum beat ten years ago to a deafening crescendo today; there’s no denying the popularity of free-to-play games right now. Although some hardcore players tend to dismiss free-to-play as a fad or cynical business model, the huge financial success of games like Clash of Clans, Candy Crush and Real Racing 3 has… Continue reading
Trion World’s MMOG will give all of its content away for free.
Design guru has been waiting “years and years” for F2P gaming, targeting a “middle ground” with new game Godus.
The OFT is on the lookout for predatory business practices in free-to-play games.
Writing and storytelling in games is often seen as a bit of a joke – window-dressing for bigger explosions, or weak justification for increasingly lavish bloodshed. Even indie developers are reluctant to place script at the centre of their games, because it’s tough to sell story in an industry with such disregard for it. One notable exception, however, is Alexis Kennedy from Failbetter Games, the UK studio behind Fallen London.
It really is an excellent gag. Superheroes are Amazing, Spectacular, Incredible and Dynamic. White-collar workers are ubiquitous, uninspired, boring and static. Middle Manager Of Justice might chronicle the rise and rise of a low-rent take on The Avengers or the Justice League, but it casts you as the office drone tasked with ensuring that invoices are sent and rescues completed on time.
Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley has strongly criticised Zynga, saying that he believes the FarmVille creator has seriously damaged the reputation of free-to-play. Despite that damage, however, he feels the business model is maturing thanks to the broader range of “hardcore” games making use of it.
Rocketcat, it seems, got free-to-play monetisation design wrong; while it was possible to buy powers, boosts and vanity items, it was never thrust in players’ faces. As our Punch Quest review noted, “The game isn’t pushy about its IAPs and you never feel like you’re punching your way through a barrage of pop-ups asking you to drop cash.”
When Adhesive Games put its Hawken reveal trailer on YouTube in March 2011, it didn’t count on it becoming a sensation. The plan was to email the link to a few news sites and gradually build awareness from there. Adhesive was a small indie studio at the time, with six staff, three interns, and no marketing budget. What it did have was an impressive amount to show for Hawken’s first nine months of development, including a dystopian futuristic metropolis, mechs scuttling about in frantic ground combat, a hulking mothership looming overhead, and a swarm of missiles gliding through the air with slow-motion grace.