What does Free-to-play mean? Summary and vision.
The most known and popular MMO games which popularized the F2P style and micro-transactions were made for much younger players. The year 1999 was witness of the official Neopets launch and three years later the hit MapleStory arrived. The second named may be for younger players but almost everyone likes it many keep it playing. These two names may be the most known but the first who tried F2P and the new style of paying was web-browser game Achaea, Dreams of Divine Lands. Through the history and present, more and more MMOs, mostly RPG games, have appeared and the new move was the rescue or golden mine of independent creators.
What F2P means?
Oh, Freegame has so close to it. It’s a totally free entrance to the game and its content. There are now two main possibilities what to do when you create an MMO thing. You can make it pay-to-play – you have to pay at first and then enjoy the non-limited possibilities, all game’s areas and things you can do or make (World of Warcraft). The trail version is only free possibility of the game and this equals to time limited demo, it’s mostly very limiting.
Or there is the free-to-play format about which we have been talking. The whole game is offered without paying a penny, dollar, euro or whatever. But the game makers must live and eat. So mostly when you play a F2P game and you have been fighting, adventuring and gaining experience longer than few minutes you bump into special possibilities and expansion for real money. Most of the past P2P games that moved into F2P zone show some limit on move. That means you cannot visit every place, zone or area and you have to unlock them by paying some money (DC Universe).
It’s a known fact that they paying players who buy better armies, building, weapons and more powerful items find out they have paid much more than they planned.
The F2P possibility was used mainly for casual players but the popularity and higher earns for the creators put the F2P into one highly respected and used trend and paying method.
Why is F2P so popular?
What would you prefer? Trying a limited trial version and then buying the game or getting to whole loaded game where you can buy some advantages with the slogan – Pay-to-win?
In the modern time of game, the players tend to choose the second possibility. It’s quite easy to find out why.
- The gamer has immediate possibility to download or open a game in his browser = instant game access.
- Very long periods of time to try the game and decide if you want to continue or even pay some money for special things and content. This is very rare at P2P game where you may be very disappointed after paying for the whole game and finding out it’s just boring.
- Micro-transactions – an element giving the players who are willing to open their wallet new game experience. It shows the possibility to make the gameplay faster, difficult moments can be easy overcome or you can show off some special items. All these things and more thanks paying only really small amount of money.
- Social games – Thanks Facebook and the popularity of the social network where the normal users have found the great experience and feeling when playing games where they can meet their friends or make new ones. It’s very interesting fact that the most of the FB players don’t feel like normal gamers (buy a game and play).
A person doesn’t know he lived in the future until the new things become common or even history. It’s very possible we are experiencing the peak of F2P now, when many of MMO games are transformed into the free style. It could last only moments or years, who know.
There is one important question. How much is the gameplay of non-paying users destroyed by players who invest into the game. It’s very unclear, discussed and totally uncertain matter and we will try to explore in the future articles.