Is Free-To-Play (F2P) Really Pay-To-Win?

I was catching up on some reading this evening, when i stumbled across a very interesting read over at Bruce Schneier's Blog. The topic in question is about the F2P(Free-To-Play) gaming model that is becoming increasingly popular. The idea became popular at 1st within the MMO community, but has spread to all sorts of other games ranging from PC games to social/mobile games. However, are these games really any better then the Pay-To-Play model?

The pay-to-play model seems to put players on equal footing for the most part. However, the F2P model seems to get the user sucked in initially by being free to download, but requires the player to use money to "buy special privileges or power-ups" in order to get an advantage and win. Schneier talks about the many tricks these games use to get their players to pony up cash for in-game items or privileges.

I have never really got into any F2P online games, but I could see where some big time money could really be made on this.  However, do we really want multi-player games where the winner is decided by who buys what? That does not sound very fun to me. I think for that reason, I will stick with either single-player games or online games that just require a subscription to play without having to buy special in-game items with real money to get edge.

I also recommend reading Gamasutra's article on this topic, its very interesting!

Leave a Reply

Total Pageviews