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How would you prefer a free to play game to be structured?

View Poll Results: Which method of free to play would you prefer?
Free with limits on matches per day, IAP unlocks unlimited plays. 6 85.71%
Free with a lot items only purchasable through currency purchased through IAP. 0 0%
Free with a low level-cap unlocked through IAP. 1 14.29%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll
01-06-2011, 04:16 PM
#1
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 129
How would you prefer a free to play game to be structured?

We are working on a new game which will be multiplayer only, and as such we would really like to keep our player count very high so there is always matches available. We've decided the best way to do this is to just make the game free to download, however we of course will still need to make money with the game, so we would like to know from players which method of monetization they prefer.

For reference the game will be a 3rd person shooter, with deep character customization including leveling up, perks, apparel upgrades and new guns/upgrades.

Option 1:
Free to play with time limits on number of matches per day (similar to Eliminate but based on matches not on time of play, or stardunk). Players can purchase an unlocked version for a small price (either 1.99 or 2.99), and get unlimited plays forever.

Option 2:
Free to play but many of the weapons and upgrades are only purchasable through a currency that is available through IAP (very similar to Gun Bros system)

Option 3:
Free to play forever, but with a low level cap that will only allow you to purchase a few of the available unlocks and guns. An IAP unlocks the level cap and all unlocks.


The goal is to keep players happy and encourage the largest player base possible, so we would love to hear everyone's opinion on the matter!

Invulse Games - Website | Twitter
01-06-2011, 04:19 PM
#2
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 9,382
I'd say a good method would be to be able to earn currency to buy/upgrade weapons and armor by merely playing the game, but also with an option to purchase more currency through IAP.

And also something like what Eliminate had. You can play so many times a day for free, and it'll regenerate over time, but for unlimited plays you can purcahse the IAP.

I like free games with IAPs but not free games that nothing is free.

Hope that helps!

Currently Enjoying: BUG HEROES 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBRUU View Post
Ninny speaks the truth.

01-06-2011, 04:31 PM
#3
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 1,975
I say go with the first one, that way you only have to buy something once to get unlimited matches if I understand right unlike the ngmoco people that make you constantly pay exorbitant amounts to play unlimited.

Lightning Strike Games Development Blog
01-06-2011, 04:40 PM
#4
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 3,088
To me, Mega Jump is truly the standard of freemiums. Make the basics of the content free, and the rest of the content as unlockables. You can either unlock these through an IAP, or spending your time yourself unlocking them by attaining a certain achievement. To top it off, Mega Jump has a completely balanced and fair system where you can unlock everything in the game in a reasonable amount of time without spending for any IAP.

Betas: Victory Day, Victory March, Zombwich, Mission Europa, Shadow Era, Slice It!, Baseball Superstars 2011, Queen's Crown, Aralon: Sword and Shadow, Zombie Runaway, Third Blade, Tower Defense: Lost Earth
01-06-2011, 04:42 PM
#5
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 9,382
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiltMyTouch View Post
To me, Mega Jump is truly the standard of freemiums. Make the basics of the content free, and the rest of the content as unlockables. You can either unlock these through an IAP, or spending your time yourself unlocking them by attaining a certain achievement. To top it off, Mega Jump has a completely balanced and fair system where you can unlock everything in the game in a reasonable amount of time without spending for any IAP.
Exactly. This is a good system.

Currently Enjoying: BUG HEROES 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBRUU View Post
Ninny speaks the truth.
01-06-2011, 04:49 PM
#6
First one only if you get unlimited plays with one purchase. That Eliminate powercell bullshit was...bullshit.
01-06-2011, 07:00 PM
#7
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,737
I think option 1 limits the playerbase too much, which is counter productive to what your goal is for a multiplayer game. Plus, depending on how much the [X matches per Y time] is, you can end up with a rather ridiculous system like Eliminate's where people need to log in every 4 hours to use up their matches. Maybe instead of playing 4 matches every 4 hours, I want to play 8 matches every 8 hours, or 24 matches once a day. Eliminate's system doesn't allow that and I imagine most people CBFed to play on a schedule like that.

I think option 3 makes the game inaccessible to too many people. You'll basically end with up two groups of people: those with the IAP and those without. The second group will have no chance against the first and might lose interest in the game as a result. Of course, you could remedy this by having a proper matchmaking system, but it still doesn't solve the problem of your playerbase effectively being split into two.

Personally, I'm a fan of option 2, especially since you said that the game will have "deep character customization including leveling up, perks, apparel upgrades and new guns/upgrades". I think that type of game really lends itself to an IAP-based model. Extra care would have to be put in to make sure that players without the IAPs can be competitive, otherwise you'll just alienate a high percentage of the players. Of course, options 1+3 have their pros too, and in an environment where a lot of your customers are going to be kids who want everything for free, that in itself would be a compelling reason against option 2.

Just my $0.02.