Game thinking from Adam Clare

Tag: F2P

How to Make Money With a Freemium Model (F2P)

The free to play (F2P), AKA freemium, business model for games is a popular one but because it’s still a relatively new one for video games people are still figuring it out. That being said, some things are fairly obvious strategies, but the beauty of games is that the mechanics of the game itself may require new monetization methods.

Here’s what people who have experience and researched this topic deeply have to say:

First off, the person who literally wrote the book on Free 2 Play, Will Luton, sat down for interview on the basics of the F2P approach.

With publishers of console games testing the free-to-play, do you think it will work or is it only for mobile gaming?

F2P will work on any platform as long as games can be delivered digitally to it and the platform owners allow the model to occur. Consoles will need to embrace the model, indeed on Ouya free is the only model.

What’s the best way to ensure your game stays free-to-play without just becoming pay-to-win?

By letting players gain anything paid that gives advantage through play. Most games that offer a competitive advantage IAP are really offering convenience: Keep on grinding or pay and get it now.

You can read the full interview here.

A much more indepth article on the F2P cane be found at Gamasutra. Ramin Shokrizade outlines his top F2P magnetization tricks which range from genre-specific to psychological tricks to get people hooked.

Reward Removal

This is my favorite coercive monetization technique, because it is just so powerful. The technique involves giving the player some really huge reward, that makes them really happy, and then threatening to take it away if they do not spend. Research has shown that humans like getting rewards, but they hate losing what they already have much more than they value the same item as a reward. To be effective with this technique, you have to tell the player they have earned something, and then later tell them that they did not. The longer you allow the player to have the reward before you take it away, the more powerful is the effect.

One place to launch a game is on Kongergate, and online gaming portal. The portal has a great presentation on keeping players and getting them to pay.

Free to Play or go Paid? Mobile Game Business Decisions

A writer at Gamasutra decided to ask some mobile game developers about their business models for their respective games. Some of them chose to go free to play and others went the fully-paid route. Their responses to the questions provide some insight into their decisions. However, like most decisions it comes down to the kind of game you’re trying to make.

Here’s one of the many responses:

I still think a F2P puzzle is a lot harder to monetize than other F2P genres, mostly because the content is limited and requires a lot of level design.

Candy Crush is the best example of highly successful F2P puzzle. They have more than 250 levels and are still producing a lot of content and find new gameplay mechanics with every update to keep their current userbase. That’s a lot of content, 2x more than what Angry Birds has.

The other thing that’s hard in general with an F2P game is balance – to monetize you have to create gameplay mechanics which involve timers, and some developers will also play with frustration to push the player to buy bonuses or boosts.

Read more at Gamasutra.

To augment the information gleaned from the Gamasutra article I suggest reading about the challenges of marketing a game. It’s not what it used to be at all.

Overall, ZeptoLab says it will spend around $1 million launching “Cut the Rope: Time Travel,” which traces the adventures of the green monster Om Nom as he meets versions of himself in time periods like the Renaissance and the Middle Ages. On top of that sum, which includes the costs of animation, the company is counting on some free help by promoting the game inside its other titles.

It’s essentially to think about the business plan and the game design concurrently.

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