Free-to-Play Is It The Way to Go?

Warface
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on February 15, 2013
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It’s been reported that Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli aims to have Crytek fully commit to working on and releasing only AAA Free-to-Play titles within two to five years. The idea sounds great to me, with games like Crysis and Far Cry being such huge successes. I wouldn’t mind playing the next instalment of Far Cry for free – who wouldn’t?

With that in mind though, is it a good move? I spoke to Crytek Producer Peter Holzapfel at the Eurogamer Expo last year who gave me a brief insight into what they aim to achieve with their free to play titles and that’s to try and steer clear from the “pay-to-win” aspect that you’ll often find in free-to-play games. It’s easy to fall into the trap of spending endless amounts of money on free-to-play games to get the advantage over everyone else, whether that be with stupid bonus items that accumulate points quicker, or a ridiculously overpowered weapon that wipes the floor with everything else. Crytek want to steer clear from things like this and only offer paid for upgrades that benefit the user in a way that it doesn’t impact the overall gaming experience for other players. Crytek want to create really great free-to-play games that don’t necessarily need premium upgrades.

WarfaceWith their upcoming launch of Warface, this is the first example of the sort of FtP titles that Crytek will offer. Warface and the free-model of game play has received rave reviews over in Russia, and has recently just launched its closed beta for a select few players.

So is this a good direction for other game developers and publishers to go? We already have the OUYA that’s entire catalogue aims to be free-to-play whether that’s entirely free, free trials, or in game purchases to unlock levels and such. We also have Steam games like Team Fortress 2, Blacklight Retribution, and ATB Reloaded which can be played and enjoyed without the need to spend a penny.

I believe if the mantra of  “free to play not pay to win” is adopted by game developers I can certainly see a more free-to-play future ahead of us, and who knows, in the next 10 years the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox 1440 might be entirely free-to-play platforms.. (as if).

What’s your opinion on free-to-play titles? If done correctly, could it be the next generation of gaming? Leave a comment below!

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