With the recent boon in gaming across the world in the past 5 years reaching unimaginable levels, video gaming is becoming more and more popular throughout every age group, culture, and personality. The video game industry has become a mountain made of solid gold for those that are now getting into it, it’s a very surreal thing to see a majority of companies somehow involved in video game creation or advertisement now. You have companies like Doritos and Mountain Dew that are practically tied to the hip with Microsoft and Sony, even the big brands that usually focus on media and entertainment like Coke & Pepsi have their various involvement in the video game industry and it’s affairs at some point. People are rushing to jump on the bandwagon that video games can be accessible to anyone at all, and most are often offered through the deceitful guise of the words Free-to-Play.
It’s a nice change to see some games being free from launch to every player and it is probably one of the reasons why video gaming is becoming so accessible. Games are being made across all platforms for every person and video gaming is slowly becoming a more acceptable thing in today’s news and society. Even my grandmother plays games on facebook, and yes those count as video games. Most games that are pushed towards a different targeted audience than your average gamer, are free to play and easy to get into, and it’s a very toxic thing in my opinion. Free to play games are great and they have their rightful spot in the game industry, but are they becoming too common, and is that a bad thing?
Of course free to play games don’t cost money, they are of course free, right? In all technicality at the core of the game, it might be free and it might be enjoyable, but what is with companies and trying to milk the game? More companies are releasing free to play models for their games, something that is now becoming quite popular in the MMORPG business to date. There are games like League of Legends that offer nothing but cosmetic rewards and boosts for money, they give little to no advantage over your opponent and Riot has a very well developed free to play system in place. But there are other games that milk the cash cow and mine the mountain of gold until it’s run dry, and it’s a scary thought that more companies might pick up on it.
Take Candy Crush for example, a fairly easy game with fairly easy goals, you knock the pieces of candy into rows and try to make combos, make a specific combo and complete an objective. But what happens when a game starts charging you to play it the further you delve into it? I remember there was an uproar over Candy Crush because it, like most other free to play games being released have a very effective system in place to take advantage of incremental reassurance. We go to buy something and think, what’s just one dollar going to do? After saying that phrase 50 times over you realize what monster that one dollar turned into and you might be surprised, shocked, and angry or you might just be content. Of course there is nothing wrong with making money from a video game, why not let the industry boon even more and why try to stop progress? But what happens when people realize the money to be made through these methods, offering in game cash for points and allowing you to buy an extra 15 levels to progress further, letting you buy an experience boost for only $5.
The video game industry is mixing in with everything that is entertainment now, and is a much more potent mixture than it was 10 years ago, it has the potential to change developers. With money to be made and the mountain of gold to be mined, why not just start releasing every game as free to play with virtual in game shops and let your players buy silly hats or experience boosts, instead of being paid for your game upfront and in an honest way. I would rather have a company create a game for free because they want people to enjoy it, profit or not. A fickle thing to say maybe, as everyone has to pay their own bills, but video gaming was created and is played for enjoyment, why turn it from that? If it hasn’t been too difficult to read from the article so far, I personally believe most free to play games are being released to jump on the cash cow bandwagon, very rarely do I find a free to play game to be anywhere near as compelling or fun. There are very few free to play games that feel like they were made because someone wanted an idea to happen, more so they were made because someone wanted an ide- hey look we can make money off this free to play system!
What do you think? Are free to play games becoming more common for the wrong reasons or do you think the advancement making games available to all via this platform is a good thing? Leave your thoughts down Below.