Topic 5: Reflection.

This week’s topic has been one of the most eye opening ones so far as it has given some people an opportunity to share what they are passionate about. This week I chose to talk about gaming and how essentially making a game free is beneficial for the majority in most cases.

It was interesting to have been able to involve a bit of Psychology in this week’s discussion within my post and the discussions I’ve had with my colleagues in the comments. A lot of people (including myself) tend to lose grasp on how big some business companies are (especially gaming). The business models they implement are meant to work in their favour one way or another. In the case of Free-to-Play, games like League of Legends (LoL) make full use of “Psychological loop-holes” – Jess and I talked a little bit about competitiveness and how it gives people drive to spend.

Calum and I also had a lengthy discussion about the differences between the two models (Free-to-Play and Pay-to-Play) and analysed how each have worked well within different segments of the gaming industry. Some games will only work with certain business models … apart from the ones released by established gaming companies. Some of them have really just made themselves dominant in the industry that they can do whatever they want.

The responses to my comments I made on both Andy’s and Freya’s blog posts ties well with what I can conclude in this week’s topic. Producers, gaming companies and journal article authors alike, have the right to be selfish and shouldn’t receive criticism when decisions are made to benefit them financially. However, as consumers, we have the power to influence their decisions by being in the middle of the supply and demand chain.

Supply and Demand by thecitizen-dv.

References:

Supply and Demand by thecitizen-dv

My comment on Andy’s blog

My comment on Freya’s blog

Calum and I discuss about F2P

Jess and I talk a little bit about Psychology and consumers

Free-To-Play-To-Win

This week’s topic focuses around the perks and costs having your content made available for free online. I will be primarily using online gaming as an example by shedding light on the concept of Free-to-Play.

Free-to-Play (F2P) is a relatively new model adopted by the gaming industry where basically gamers are allowed to play the game without having to pay. How do the game creators make money? Through purchasable in-game perks. You may have seen this concept in Facebook games where you can buy in-game currencies such as coins. Traditionally games have been Pay-to-Play, which how most games are still nowadays such as console games XBOX, PS4 and Wii. However recently F2P games have dominated the gaming industry through games such as League of Legends and DOTA 2.

The Good:

High Exposure

The fact that you have nothing to lose but time spent by giving a free game a try gives F2P games the edge. The model creates an exponential chain of people giving the game a try which lets other people know about it. To put it simply:

People try the game -> they let other people know about it -> more people try the game -> even more people will know about it.

Higher Potential Revenue

This straw poll created by a curious League of Legends player asked other players how much they’ve spent on the game (RP is the in-game currency used in League of Legends).

How is this business model so successful? The video below gives some insight into this matter:

Less Likely To Be Pirated

Who would want to get a pirated version of a free game?

The Bad:

Pay To Win

F2P games that involve buyable in-game perks that give gamers significant advantages over other gamers can potentially ruin the experience. This issue is similar to a lot of major sports in the world today where the team that has the most money will eventually be more successful. However, gaming companies have recently recognised this issue and are beginning to rectify it.

Arguably Unethical

There will always be a small minority of people who would fall into the trap of not knowing when to stop spending money on anything period. Gamers are not an exception and as F2P allows gamers to ‘spend as much as they want’, it can easily turn out to be ‘spend as much as they have‘.

References:

Straw Poll: How much League of Legends players spend on the game

Riot Games’ League of Legends Becomes Most Played PC Game In The World

Why Spend Money on a Free Game? – GameSpot

World Of Tanks Pay-to-Win