The Rise of the Free-to-Play Game


By Ramzi Maducdoc
          Gaming over the years has traditionally been a paid exclusive. You pay once, then you get to enjoy the game in its entirety without having to spend another penny.
          That was the way it was throughout the classic 90s and innovative 2000s, but the 2010s have brought about the advent of in game purchases. Games had started charging its players to pay for more content, most notably through DLC (downloadable content) or in game currency for their spending pleasures.
          While the idea was seemingly innocent at first, as it provided extra cash to the companies while also giving the players extra content to enjoy, more recently free-to-play games have milked this method in an attempt to make as much money as possible.
          Free-to-play mobile games provide the most ideal pathway for this money making syndicate. While not necessarily bad games, games such as Clash of Clans and Clash Royale are notorious for being fun but also encouraging their players to spend money for in game currency to make their progression easier.
          Though the game can be completely played without spending a penny, many players end up spending money anyways for the sake of progression. The fact that this method of progression is possible gives them the negative label of pay to win games, which gives players more enjoyable experiences in exchange for money.
          While not all free-to-play games follow this method, there are free-to-play games that encourage skill and offer in game currencies solely for cosmetic purposes.
          MOBA games such as League of Legends and Dota 2 come to mind. Paying for in game currency allows players to invest in cosmetics for their characters and provide no advantage whatsoever.
          Cosmetic skins do not give players an edge, and while some claim that they do, the seemingly daunting pressure of being up against an expensive skin is only psychological.
          As the gaming industry grows larger and larger, it seems that the optimal way to profit from making games is by using the free-to-play model with in game purchases.
          While companies such as EA use both DLC and in game purchases to profit, customer satisfaction is sacrificed as a result, which does no good in the long run useless the company is already as established as EA.
          With games such as Fortnite now showing the potential dominance a free-to-play game can have, we should look out for other free-to-play games which could potentially shake up the market and the future of gaming in general.