The free-to-play model has been working pretty well for a while now. From Facebook games like Farmville to fully fleshed titles like Tribes: Ascend and Age of Empires Online, free-to-play is pushing its way to a varied forefront in the world of desktop gaming. But why should it be restricted to our desktops?
After the announcement that every game they put out following Crysis 3 will be free-to-play, CEO of the technical powerhouse Crytek, Cevat Yerli, stated that he hopes not only to bring the developer’s huge AAA games to a free-to-play PC market, but also to consoles. There are, however, a few obstacles to overcome.
The main issue holding them back, as Cevat sees it, is the relationship between digital and boxed retail. In order for stores to make a decent amount of money out of the industry, they need to sell boxed games – something they wouldn’t be able to do if the future was fully digital and free-to-play. Take away the stores, however, and you can’t sell the consoles.
Cevat, however, feels very strongly that something needs to change. ‘It’s an industry problem that needs to be overcome and somebody just has to say, ‘I’m going to cannibalise it, I don’t care, there’s a risk of burning some relationships, but we’re changing the world for good.’’
Is free-to-play console gaming the way forward? What effects would that have on videogame development? Do gamers prefer one-off payments, or a host of micro-transactions? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
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