Live Service/Games as a Service has been a fundamental change in how games are designed and supported for months or even years. The very best games can become a license to print money for the developers, and transformed League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Team Fortress 2, among many others into juggernauts.
But when you’re thinking about a game as not just a finished product, but a continued project, it’s raising issues in terms of what exactly is the consumer getting in the first place.
Last week, podcast guest Chris Gardiner was curious about outside thoughts on micro transactions for his upcoming game: Below. He wanted to know if people prefer larger, but one time only transactions for content, or cheaper micro transactions that had to be purchased over and over again, or in other words, a “toll” transaction.
I and other people voted for the former and gave an explanation on the concept of ownership in video games and I wanted to share with you my thoughts on the matter.
Last week on Gamasutra there was a post discussing why free-to-play mobiles games were not inherently evil, followed by a post this week discussing how it can affect people. The comments section for both quickly ballooned into a discussion trying to define the morality of monetization and the definition of “free.”
I’ve posted in the past on my views of games based around consumable monetization and trying to trick consumers into paying and as I thought about it more, it occurred to me what my line is regarding free-to-play design.