How does the “free to play” business model work?
The video game industry has been developing very rapidly for a few years now, with ever more advanced technologies. In addition, the sale of video games in physical stores has practically disappeared due to the new platforms dedicated to the sale of games, such as Steam, Origins and Epic Games. One of the concepts that continues to develop is undoubtedly F2P video games, also called free to play fps. We will see in this article, all the information you need to know about free to play games .
F2P: a real revolution in the world of video games
A few years ago, when you wanted to buy a new video game, you had to go to a specialized store, but nowadays, this is far from being the case. To acquire a new game these days, all you have to do is turn on your console or PC gamer, go to a dedicated virtual store, such as the very famous Steam, the Epic Games store, the PlayStation Store and many more. other platforms, create an account, enter your bank details and buy the games you want.
More and more games these days are accessible for free via these platforms, something that was impossible a few years ago.
Do you think it would have been possible to offer, about ten or fifteen years ago, games accessible free of charge to the general public? Any creative studio would have found this idea completely crazy and inconceivable, but nowadays it has become trendy to offer free games, because the business model of these companies has developed strongly.
How does free to play work?
As their name suggests, free to play pc games are games that can be downloaded for free via dedicated platforms, and believe it or not, the earnings generated by the companies that market them are much greater than a simple sale.
Indeed, before the appearance of the Internet on game consoles, companies made money by marketing game CDs, whereas nowadays they certainly offer free access to the game, but in a way, you have to take out the bank card to be able to progress.
Their entire economic model is nowadays based on the sale of what are called “Skins”, in other words, weapons and combat outfits accessible by paying.
If the game would tend to cost 60 euros to buy, the F2P concept will bring much more to the company in the long term than a simple sale.
Nevertheless, many players consider this business model to be a real scam, because you have to pay to be better.
What are the pros and cons of F2P?
The main advantages of F2P games are:
- The possibility of testing the game without paying;
- Possible access for a larger public;
- An innovation in the sector.
People who have free access to a video game have the opportunity to test it without spending money, and if they like, they can stay there. Otherwise, they will only have to uninstall the game, without having lost any money during the purchase. F2P games are accessible to a wider audience, which means that the majority of people have access on their console or PC, such as free to play pc games.
This economic model represents a real revolution in the video game sector, from which even mobile game developers are inspired.
There are also many disadvantages in this type of games, namely:
- The inability to progress without paying in certain games;
- Pay even more than when buying the game alone;
- Incessant ads in mobile games.
Most F2P games offer players Battle Passes and Skins, which allow them to progress over time, but they can be very expensive.
Arrived at a certain level, it becomes essential to make these purchases to evolve, something that is a lot of controversy. Some “Skins” can be extremely expensive, sometimes twice the price of the video game, which perfectly illustrates the idea behind F2P.