Jeff Strain gave his opinion on Free-To-Play games earlier this week, and while I was reading it, I could feel myself becoming a little perturbed. His argument is, '”Developers working on free-to-play projects are too preoccupied with in-game revenue opportunities and don’t have time to focus on making games fun.”
Well, I can agree to a certain point with him on that. There are a few games out there that I’ve played where the company is more concerned with making money off the store transactions than making new free content for the players, but there are also a lot of games out there that employ the modal and still look out for their user base. The game is free to play and thus needs to generate revenue in some form, so that is to be expected and should be acceptable to a degree, provided new content and still provided to users on a free level as well. Something that Jade Dynasty has done, or Perfect World. Both have released several expansion packs for free to their users with a large set of changes and new content.
So Strains statement is an invalid statement, especially when you look at World of Warcraft, a game that focuses on it’s free 'patches being aimed at helping the lower level players, because they complain about things and Blizzard doesn’t want to loose their business. How about their expansion packs? Those aren’t free, and it’s another way of pulling subscribers that have canceled their accounts, back into
playing paying for their subscription again.
Both sides of the MMO world is the same, they are both trying to feed their pocket book, and have a right too, provided it doesn’t take their focus away from the users and giving them a good experience. Something that Perfect World games have always done.
I’m have no problem paying a subscription fee for playing a game, I limit myself $20 a month in microtransaction fees, so my rant isn’t because I don’t want to pay the monthly fee. I paid for warcraft for 5 months before i canceled it.
One last thing I’d like to point out is that microtransactions usually employ character customization options such as new outfits or hairstyles that aren’t available in the standard game, and I like this approach as it provides users with a way to be different from others playing the game. Everyone can find something they like and wear it and be different.