EA likes to talk about everything, from how these see an all digital future, how chain video game stores won’t exist in ten years, or what they feel the industry needs to improve on. Well today the company COO Peter Moore was discussing the free-to-play model of gaming. Moore believes the future of gaming lies in the free-to-play model “Change is Good, free-to-play is the future,” but not everyone is going to see it that way according to Moore.
“This is a tough one for a lot of people to wrap arms around, but trust me when I say the potential for free-to-play is just beginning to surface. Will the games still be high quality, will they still be innovative, will they still look beautiful, will I still enjoy them? …It’s early days, but our experience in mobile, online games and social has taught us a lot – free-to-play is an opportunity for every gamer to try more, play more and make their own spending decisions. For millions of new gamers, the value is obvious: you get to try before you buy.”
Just yesterday Ubisoft was talking about the same thing, how the much of the future of the gaming industry will be tied to the free-to-play payment model. Free-to-play model is not loved by everyone, many people believe that as consumers we will start getting incomplete games and nickle and dimmed to death. While other people believe that going free-to-play will take a lot of the stress of game developers and help lower piracy rates.
I am kind of torn on the issue, on the one hand I like the idea of being able to play a game like Star Wars: The Old Republic for free up to level 50. On the other hand I don’t want to end up playing incomplete games where I have to continue to purchase the game over months at a time because the developer is making the game up as they go.
But then again there are downsides to every payment method and I think free-to-play will end up being the lesser evil. What do you think, do you like the idea of the future of gaming being free-to-play or do you worry about getting incomplete games and being nickle and dimmed to death?