Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Free to Play is the Future

Free to play isn't a new idea, it's been around on PC for years and is both well established and popular with games such as Team Fortress 2 proving that it works. For consoles however it's a fairly new idea, one being tried and tested in games such as Dust 514. The gaming industry as we know it is changing, people are less willing to spend £40 on a game, this is why developers are either forced to push games into stagnation (Call of Duty) or try new models of console game development (Dust 514).

Console gaming is awesome but it needs a serious kick up the backside, every year brings countless sequels and little innovation. Games are expensive to buy and people won't pay for a game that isn't part of a trusted franchise, free to play could change that. No, free to play must change that or console gaming will die. The industry is suffering, with Sony and Nintendo posting loss after loss, innovation could well be the key to fixing this and free to play is a great place to start.

Developers could take risks and consumers could buy into those risks, the stagnation that is found on almost every game store shelf could be removed by the advent of free to play on consoles. Of course it wouldn't be without its sacrifices.

Games are costly things to make and if you aren't charging people to play it then it needs to damn good for it to survive, if you take a risk and it pays off then great but if not then it will hurt more not having anyone buy it than having a few people buy it as they do in the current model. Of course there is also the risk to physical retailers. They can hardly sell a disk that contains a free to play game can they?

To be honest though, although free to play has its fair share of issues I think it's a great way to breathe some fresh air into console gaming and it really has to happen.

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