2014-02-27 21.57.50

Free-To-Play Games Business Model To Potentially Receive Reform

February 27, 2014 - Written By Justin Diaz

We all know how wonderful Free-To-Play games can be. As someone who has many games installed on various Android devices around the house, both Free-To-Play(freemium) and paid or truly free games, Free-To-Play isn’t so bad. So long as the IAP aren’t attempting to gouge users for whatever crazy sums of money are being asked for these days in some games. While I try to be objective to both types of pay models, The European Union doesn’t share my sentiments. It appears that they are planning to set up talks with Google and Apple today and tomorrow about the way that Free-To-Play games are handled. They feel that there needs to be clearer distinction in what Freemium games cost in the long run. Since Free-To-Play games offer options to purchase items or in game currency for a small fee, it can sometimes be a bit murky or misleading when a game is advertised as free. Other times the fees aren’t so small, and sometimes games require so much of a certain type of item or in game currency to progress, that you would literally have to pony up more than a fair amount of money to continue playing and enjoy the game.

This is what the European Union had to say in regards to the way F2P games are handled now and what they will attempt to gain from the talks with Google and Apple. “For the sector to deliver on its potential consumers must have confidence in new products, misleading consumers is clearly the wrong business model and also goes against the spirit of EU rules on consumer protection.” No matter how you feel about Free-To-Play titles, the fact is that it’s a proven money making business model. It works, and that’s a big reason why so many developers have chosen to use this pay model for games instead of charging an up front cost of a few bucks. They’re more likely to make more money by offering a game for free with optional IAP then if they charge. People are more open to spending money if they’re given the option as opposed to having it be required. There’s no doubt that there needs to be a little more control with the use of IAP, and with whatever comes out of these talks with the European Commission, hopefully it will spur some changes with Freemium model games in the states and elsewhere.