Tag Archive for switch

What’s wrong with Free-to-Play?

The short answer: nothing.

Seriously though, as a person who likes to try out different games and hates have to cancel and resubscribe every time I jump, games without barriers to entry are awesome.  The latest rumble in the Internet is Turbine taking Lord of the Rings Online “free”.  As an observer of the MMO market, it isn’t hard to see why they might do this.  Some reports claim that Dungeons & Dragons Online experienced a 500% or more growth in revenue with their switch.  LotRO has always been a decently performing game, but if the switch gets them more players and more money while also making the game easier to try, well, more power to them.

And before people go off half-cocked calling them money grubbing or greedy, making games costs money.  DDO has had several content expansions since they went “free” and that is entirely due to the influx of money.  If companies don’t keep an eye on the bottom line, they can’t afford to make new stuff, and without new stuff people quit, which just leads to less new stuff.

To be honest, the only issue I have with the current trend of F2P games is that I feel the term is less and less accurate.  Sure, technically all these games are free to play, to a point.  But all of them have velvet ropes for subscription and/or item stores and more.  A better term, in my opinion, would be to call them “Pay What You Want” or “A La Carte” games.  The reason is that, for example, if DDOs 500% revenue growth is true, I doubt it is an even distribution.  Some players probably pay less now than they did when it was a subscription game, some pay nothing at all, while other players may be paying ten or twenty times more that the original subscription.

For me, I say, “Bring ’em on!”  Games with a low barrier for entry get my time and have a better chance of earning my money.  Heck, the game I spent the most on in the last year is Wizard 101 as I play through and buy content as I need it, playing and paying at my own pace.  I’ve been playing Puzzle Pirates for years and I’ve never invested a dime into it… but I’ve traded earned cash for bought cash (Pieces of Eight for Doubloons) that someone else had to buy, so my playing has earned them money.

I see nothing but win in this trend…  Games that are well designed are worth playing no matter the pricing structure.  Games that are blatant cash grabs will (should) have a short life.

Just My Luck

I am married, so just get over the fact that, yes, I went to go see a chick movie in the theater.

That said, its wasn’t a bad film. It was funny, all the parts well cast and played, although it was typical, and by that I mean the basic plot is a “switch” story, like a Freaky Friday, Vice Versa, Like Father Like Son or 18 Again, only without the body switching. In this case, an almost teminally bad lucked guy switches his fate with that of an overly blessed young girl. His life is crappy, hers is blissfully wonderful, and then suddenly his life is fantastically awesome and hers is in the pits. And of course, when he (unknowingly) runs into her again he can sympathize with her woes and helps her out, leading to romance…

Yeah, typical chick movie. But I laughed, so its all good. Well, except for the $14 we spent to see it. AMC raised their matinee price to $7. Now it will actually be cheaper to buy movies on DVD than to go to the cheapest showing at the theater.