Free or Paid Games. Choice of developers and players

The world of video games has many dimensions. It’s an emotional experience of players, a cultural phenomenon of our society, and an area to use many innovative technologies. Also, it’s a whirling business, where money flows decide whether a game project exists or dies, whether an idea is implemented in a new product or it’s forgotten as an interesting but unprofitable one.

The game industry is an industry after all. Developers here should make a decision about the monetization of their products. Gamers here can vote with their wallets for a game and make it successful (or not). Should developers produce a free game with paid internal assets and involve a bigger audience? Or should they make a paid game with the full playing experience included and to limit the audience to a bit more dedicated gamers?

Free-to-Play – with “pay” in mind

In the world of business, a product can’t exist with no money. Even the most enthusiastic developers and publishers are forced to think about revenue from their games – after all, this is a kind of indicator of quality and success in the industry.

Free games make up a tricky product. There should be another way to get revenue from them. For developers, it’s quite a creative task. Here are some ideas from existing products:

  • Sell cosmetic items for characters and in-game objects. They do not affect the gameplay and the progress of players, but they bring additional fun to the playing process and allow gamers to boost up their in-game style and status. An example of free games with such monetization is Apex Legends.
  • Sell items to power-up the progress. This is a common practice for mobile games, where players often can’t continue having fun unless they use a special item (the other alternative is to wait some amount of time). Various boosters with additional play items and power-ups with extra possibilities are of the same kind. This way of monetization is treading on the threshold of the Pay-to-Win scheme. Examples here are Hearthstone and Candy Crush Saga.

Sell accesses to limited-time events with special content and unique missions. Various “season passes” became quite popular, and often developers use them to make possible the scheme “game as a service”. A great example of such games is Fortnite Battle Royal,

These monetization schemes become effective usually for games of excellent quality – when players really enjoy the product and ready to support it.

Lots of Free-to-Play games choose the mobile market (Google Play and App Store). The audience here is huge, but not so many players are ready to buy something.

Game stores on PC and consoles offer many paid games, which charge players for the license and give the full experience in return.

Pay-to-Play – with “fun” in mind

Some time ago, games were delivered in a state of completeness.- you get a cartridge or a disc and play the whole story with no unnecessary difficulties to make you pay for supportive items. That was an early age of video games. The industry develops, but such complete gaming experiences are still available, for example, in games God of War, Neir: Automata, Devil May Cry 5, and many others.

Those who are ready to pay for games become very demanded users – the community may not forgive underdeveloped products. They expect to have a fun time and they are ready to pay again to continue this fun. Thus, additional monetization appears in paid games: cosmetics, DLCs, or accessed to special events.

Those who aren’t used to pay for games become cut off by the Pay-to-Play scheme. Such players visit virtual worlds rarely and make in-game purchases spontaneously. They don’t need huge adventures, which usually ask for a significant amount of time.

The choice of Paracosm Project

Strictly speaking, we develop something bigger than just a game. Our product is a holistic ecosystem of Paracosm platform, Caer Sidi service, and connected games. That’s why we pay so much attention to various business aspects of the industry, trying to clarify things for developers of game paracosms and for their denizens.

Starting games of Paracosm Project are Post Scriptum RPG and CTG. The role-playing game is built on a variation of the Pay-to-Play scheme. To enter the world of Post Scriptum, new players should have an invitation, and it’s paid for those who give the invitations. The collectible token game is Free-to-Play. It offers paid Booster Packs with random tokens. The same scheme is used by another collectible token game in our ecosystem, “Altar: the War of Gods”, developed by our partners form the Wanted Games studio.

The state of unpredictability

There are no ready-made decisions in the video game industry. Success here depends on many factors, so the monetization scheme should be chosen individually for a particular product. By knowing available possibilities and examples, the developers will be able to make a better decision.

The Paracosm platform and Caer Sidi service give some additional opportunities for game creators to get revenue. Thanks to the distributed registry of Tangle, developers have more ways to implement virtual assets exchange – even if they are inter-paracosmic. DRT also allows connecting digital and real-world objects, boosting the Cross-Reality features up to a new level.

Friends, we would like to invite you to discuss this topic. It would be helpful for the whole community to share our opinion, knowledge, and experience. Please, make comments here or on our social pages:

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