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Weapons of Mass Disruption #2: Why Is (Almost) Every Video Game Suddenly Free?

kotaku.com: On PC we have the world's #2 FPS by revenue. Nope, it's not Battlefield 3 but Cross Fire, a low-res free-to-play Counter-Strike clone that's so popular in China that four million people have played the game at the same time. On Steam, the trusty stats page shows us that the two most popular games on the platform are both free-to-play. Casual PC games now mostly take place in the browser, and the free-to-play model (in which starting the game is free but users may pay for cosmetic and/or gameplay-affecting add-ons) dominates there, with the vast majority of the world now playing casual browser games on Facebook.

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Emilio_Estevez1313d ago

Best piece from Kotaku in a long time.

dedicatedtogamers1313d ago

Good article, but it begs an even more concerning question: why are so many people choosing to play these free games instead of full, paid games?

I don't think the answer is as simple as "duh, because they're free games".

I think that the gap in quality between F2P games and $60 games doesn't seem like a $60 increase in quality to a lot of people. And THAT is a big problem for the game industry as a whole.

konnerbllb1313d ago

They aren't. Look up the statistics. The attach rate on free to play games is something like under 15% of people continue playing the game after the first week.

TopDudeMan1313d ago

This might come across as slightly ignorant, but I'd rather pay for a good game than play a bad one for free.

The reality is that most free to play games are of bad quality or have somewhat run their course in terms of success (Shining examples of good games that have run their course and become F2P games are TF2 and the original BF). A vast majority of them are also of the "free to play: pay to win" variety which annoys me.

Irishguy951313d ago (Edited 1313d ago )

Yeah but the new reality is that alot of Free to play are actually picking up the candle and walking it to the finish line along with the 50-60 quid games.

DO YOOU GEET MEEEEE!!!

MeatAbstract1313d ago

Yeah there are some crappy F2P games out there, but there are also some god awful £40 games out there.

But look at the heavy hitters that use the FP2 model, like League of Legends. That's one of the most highest played games in the world with numbers that overshadow the likes of WoW.

The FP2 is on the rise simply because they're getting better and better. You pay £30-£40 for a game and be dissapointed and it feels like you wasted your money, right? You try a F2P game and you don't like it, nothing lost. However you like the F2P game, you can put money into it and make a small transaction here and there.

The model has improved so much that it isn't necessary to for anyone to have to buy things to advance in the game. This business model is being eyed up by developers because it seems to working incredibly well for others. Take PLanetside 2 for example.

TopDudeMan1313d ago

Any time someone mentions league of legends I remember this comic strip:

http://www.penny-arcade.com...

chasegarcia1313d ago (Edited 1313d ago )

Blacklight Retribution comes to mind. Game is above average and free. Ghost Recon Online is another1.

GreenRanger1313d ago

For some reason, F2P games have always felt shady to me.

GreenRanger1313d ago

@ disagree(s)
it's just my opinion, don't start crying over it.