You’re Free to P(l)ay

When reading the above title you might think that I’m selling the latest pyramid scheme. Alas, I’m not clever enough to even know where to start with a scheme like that, let alone run one to begin with. No, what I’m here to write about is the ever present “Free to Play” online game system.

These sort of games have really began to hit their heights in this day and age. With no monthly payment (or game time purchased, as it’s bought in the East), these games offer a decent and chunky piece of gaming for everyone in the family. All genres are covered and I’ve yet to come across a graphics card-demanding game to this date. With these sort of requirements, any sort of recession can be averted and you won’t need to watch the pennies. In fact, assuming you can hold onto a broadband speed Internet connection, you’re generally all clear to play anything and everything. It’s a good deal all round.

I know you’re thinking, “Wowzer, that’s too good to be true! What’s the catch?” Well the point is, there isn’t a catch. Generally games will offer items or special abilities for sale, it’s no different from the extra content offered on the Playstation Network or Xbox Live (by the way, free to play games have already started to appear on Xbox 360; for example Doritos Dash of Destruction), and it’s really up to you whether you wish to gain these items for an advantage. This isn’t to say that you are certain to dominate all gaming situations should you decide to purchase anything, however it would give you a nice edge and possibly enhance your experience of the game.

Doritos Dash of Destruction

With more companies seeing this sort of business through advertising and microtransactions it would be no surprise to see this as the future of all gaming platforms in the future. Even arcades such as Taito Game Stations in Tokyo offer a simple and quick reflex game on most of their doors to attract potential customers into their arcades. Xbox announced the free to play Joy Ride, showing that even the biggest of companies are willing to go into the business of free to play in order to grow their user base. And while I believe a fully packaged game is important for the industry I certainly think there’s some room for “Free To Play” games to expand and maybe one day even dominate.

Joy Ride Xbox Live Arcade







2 responses to “You’re Free to P(l)ay”

  1. Fitza avatar

    hay antooo… haven’t been at this site for a while now. it just randomly popped in my head.. nice article by the way. makes me get excited about need for speed: world online. oh incase your wondering who this is well… *goes off doing a barrel roll!*

  2. Lorna avatar

    I was sad enough to play the Dash of Destruction game. It was one of those moments where I just wanted something easy and uncomplicated to play and this happened to be there…for free! It was fun for as long as it was meant to last (about 15 minutes or so) and I thought it was a great marketing idea. I guess it makes a nice change from seeing small in game ads…just make one whole game the ad.

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