Free-to-play games is like free food at Costco. I stuff my face until I get sick of it, or the lady behind the counter gives me dirty looks, whichever happens first, and then I head over to the next table of samples.
There’s a problem with the FTP, or freemium, model for games. Freemium businesses may work if there’s a B2B component: normal Joe might use Survey Monkey’s free service to get feedback on where to go to lunch, but it’s the businesses that purchase the premium options. For the normal Joe to purchase the premium options of a game, the game has to be stellar, but if the game is stellar, there wouldn’t be a need to make it free. Battlefield, Halo, COD do not need to give out free samples.
I have dished out cash on an FTP before. TowerMadness was the first iPhone game I got and I didn’t know better. I got sucked into the pay-to-win scheme: you need $.99 for the flamethrower which is the only way to beat several maps. That one moment of weakness aside, I have resisted upgrading or purchasing extra stars, coins, hearts, etc, because I know I will have serious buyer’s remorse.
Warface PC launches on October 21. This game has buyer’s remorse written all over it. The graphics are ho-hum, the character movements are just a tad better than GoldenEye 1997, and the gameplay is like ten years ago. Compare this to Battlefield 4 – you’ve got an entire building collapsing on you – I’d pay for that.
I’ll try the Warface sample, maybe go back for second or thirds, but it won’t disprove my theory on FTP games.