In recent years game developers have been turning to the Free to Play Gaming Model or F2P. This is a very deceiving label to use because in the end it really means that a F2P game is anything but free but instead extremely expensive to play. Its huge success in the gaming market is easy to see and obviously works quite well with the idea that the said game is free to play, at first… A game being free means that potential players are free to try out the game and see if they like it and if they do decide that this game is worth playing and dedicating their time to the F2P model takes a sharp turn and starts requiring money to keep going.
The one benefit to this model as stated before is the ability to try out games without needing to purchase them. If that was the only idea behind F2P I would endorse it wholly, however it is not to be. In years past game developers released Demos which showed off small portions of the game for free to allow potential players to see if they like the game before buying it. This idea has gone almost completely by the wayside however due to the stunning success of the F2P market. And since ultimately game developers make games to generate money everyone is jumping on the F2P bandwagon to try and get their slice of the pie.
One of the huge problems with F2P games is that spending money allows people to play the game better and easier.
This in itself is not that big a deal since who cares what other people are doing right? If they want to spend money for extra lives or better equipment for their characters that is their problem and in single player games that is true. However a large percentage of these F2P games are multiplayer and competitive by design which means that players who want to spend the cash are basically going to be better and stronger than those who don’t want to spend money and as a result will more often than not win out. For players who are playing for free and enjoy the game this can be very discouraging and the end result is that the player will either quit playing the game or decide to spend money on bonuses or power ups as well just to be able to compete with the other players.
Since the emergence of the F2P model several games have been absorbed into its market that traditionally was not. While these games still cost money to acquire and are not “Free to Play”, these games now will release “Content” that players can purchase to expand their game play experience. The best example I can give is the Call of Duty series. For years when a new CoD game was released all you had to do was go buy it for around $60 and you were guaranteed full access to the game forever, this includes free updates and patches as well as new maps and game play modes which the game developers would release gradually over time until a newer CoD game was released. Today it is much different; when you purchase the game with your measly $60 you are only assured the most basic elements of the game. When new weapons or map packs are released for multiplayer you are required to buy them usually for $20. So if a player keeps up to date with the newest “Content” that is released every month or so by the time the newest CoD game is released someone will have spent around $120 on the previous game. Then they set it down forever to go grab the newest one and the whole cycle starts over again.
Years back I purchased Call of Duty: Modern Warfare which was a great game and I enjoyed playing it for several months. Then of course almost a year later they released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and so of course I bought the newest one and continued on playing the game since I enjoyed it. However after a couple months of playing the game new “Content” was released in the form of a “Map Pack” which is several new multiplayer maps that you can buy for $20. When I looked at the “New” maps I was astonished to see that half of the maps were older maps from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare! So the game developers just re-released maps that were already made and in which I already OWNED and were charging $20 for it.
For game developers this is a dream come true because the money has been rolling in at double or even triple the rates of years past. For casual gamers the days of buying a single game and getting access to it forever are truly dead as developers continue to expand the F2P market to try and suck every penny out of you that they can.">