Thinking about fremium games, on the other hand, barricades

An interesting topic was raised in the post "5 reasons why freemium-games" suck " . " It would seem that this is just the case when the discussion in the comments is much more useful than the content of the post itself.

What can I say about this?

Part one.

Dear Skaarj gave the following thought: “In general, the player’s purchase of things practically does not affect the time spent playing the game. The game accent is shifting. ”It

influences, even as ...

What are the classic fremium-games without donation (investments of real money)?

Awesome game crafts, with crazy game design. wild game mechanics and a weird balance.

Fremium games, in the vast majority of cases, totally lose in terms of balance, mechanics and gameplay, offline games!

The essence of most modern fremium-games looks exactly like this: “We create and polish the game for donat, and in free access we release an option in which it is almost impossible to play. Sooner or later, the limitation (s) of the game system that will make the player spend money on donation will come out, because it will be impossible and pointless to continue the (free) game. "

In some cases, such restrictions are somehow tied to time.

For example, getting new “goodies” from the game (the following types of weapons, defense, magic, types of equipment, etc.) can, without donation, be delayed for an indefinite period ... Literally, for __ dozens of hours of playing time ... How do you imagine this Can you imagine for a working / studying person who has a minimum of free time? Indeed, in this case, the process can stretch for weeks and months!

In addition, the effect of reducing the attractiveness of the game process will be observed, because the player will not receive “new buns” that guarantee a fundamentally new experience, experience, experience from the game. The likelihood that a modern, extremely spoiled player will simply refuse to play , feeling "cheated", is very high! Who wants to pay for pixels?

After all, they pay for a completely different ... Roughly speaking, there is a stage of "entering the game" ... So it is he who should last as long as possible, preferably endlessly, so that the donation process is the most justified and reasonable for the player. You can not confront the player with a fact, try to "extort" money from him. Because the player can really leave, and under the most negative impression. And this already forms a negative attitude towards online multiplayer games in society itself.

It is far from a fact that what was offered to the player in the free trial period is enough for him to pay. And if so, then it is impossible to raise the issue of payment during this period ...

The key to the successful functioning of a fremium-game is finding the right, “addictive” balance between game time and “goodies” from the game. Moreover, this should be done in the free version. This mechanism should work without donation!

The key to understanding this principle is the notion of “holding attention” to the player. Played for fifteen minutes - get a bun, played another fifteen - get the next, played an hour - get a big bun, went in next time - get a great gift.

In-game items are NOTHING, the only real value in this whole system is the player’s attention. The struggle is waged precisely for this, receiving a donation from a player is a matter of purely secondary and decisive nature!

Ideally, the accumulation of game resources should generally not depend on the presence of the player in the game, if there is no player, the accumulation should continue anyway, and for as long as necessary ... Through this, a mechanism is created to encourage and retain the player, even after periods of his long absence. This is very important for building the right relationship with the player! And its successful transfer from free to paid ...

There is another way to link the limitations of the game mechanics to time, which is more used in a variety of strategies.

This case is much more stringent and it is set as follows - by entering storage limits for some game resources (gold, crystals, wood, gas, etc.). For example, the store of gold and team points (necessary for game actions) is filled in 4-8-10 hours, after that the process stops, in the most terrible cases there is a desynchronization between different types of resources, for example, the store of gold is filled in 5 hours, and the team points for 7 hours ... And a free player must exit the game during these periods and manage to collect “everything”, because otherwise the deviation from the optimal schedule for the development of his “combat potential” in the game will become frightening and this lag will grow like an avalanche b. And since merciless PvP (Player vs Player) is professed in games of this type, the “punishment” will follow immediately ...

Typically, this option is combined with a couple of points. By endlessly dragging the “party" into the game ... The match can actually last several months, or even a year ... It is assumed that it will be very difficult for the player to psychologically abandon the game (and donate) that he spent so much time and effort, as well as those social connections in the game with which he managed to "grow" for all this time (this is the very component of "self-realization" in the MMO, which is so widely discussed).

As well as the most serious mistakes of developers in terms of game design, making the world \ map geographically limited (trying to increase the aggressiveness of PvP), creating a number of bonus points, for the control of which additional advantages are given (again, this is aimed at increasing the activity and rigidity of PvP) , and in the worst case scenario - turning the game into a “final" one, which tends to end like a game of tic-tac-toe, sea battle or chess ...

As a result, a real nightmare begins inside the game world. A nightmare for both players and developers with project investors.

A group of one or two percent of active geek players who gain a very high total “combat potential”, capturing all important territory and key bonus points very quickly stands out ... After that, the game for all other players no longer makes any sense, on which then the positive impressions of the game (and especially donat) are no longer necessary. But what about the situation if the game world itself was designed for __ dozens of thousands of people? Good such "efficiency".

What is the probability of a player leaving in such a situation? What is the likelihood that he will begin to create negative viral advertising for the game? How are we going to “fight” this?

Accessibility for the player is a key factor in the success of a fremium game!

Part two. Search for the pearl.

The whole discussion of Bennett Fody’s thoughts has come down to a merciless condemnation of his criticism of the current model of fremium games.

The speakers, without realizing it, constantly tried to refute it, somehow argue with it, to say that "This is not so!"

Instead of isolating useful and constructive thoughts from this criticism.

We will try to do this on our own:

1. These games are about “paying” and not “playing”.

As soon as there is a massive change in this paradigm to another, like - “These games are not about“ paying, ”but about“ making money ”there will be a revolution in the gaming industry ... Internet poker, online casino, all this is too small a scale for a specific audience. It is necessary to give the player the opportunity to _ earn_, and real money.

I'm not talking about pharming and other fans who convert the excess of free time into the sale of game items for real money, but about a much wider model.

The developers are too keen on the need to collect money from the player and create his dependence on the game, and think too little about giving something more to the player.

One of the promising areas in the gaming industry is the creation of projects that blur the line between the game and the real world, the removal of the game in real life, the organization of interaction, the symbiosis between them. And not at all in the form of "cosplay" ...

2. Everyone is in unequal conditions. (Donat is cheating!)

As soon as an effective way is found to charge players, without giving any of them exceptional advantages, a completely different understanding of this whole business will come.

As mentioned above, donat is not even “cheating”, it is just “bringing the game to normal battle”, transferring the game to a workable, playable state.

This approach has numerous costs, missing a significant part of the potential audience of the game.

This is something that could be proposed in the “zero”, today you need to look for something completely different.

3. It spoils the impression. (The developer is a drug dealer!)


The collection of money for the right to play the only playable version of the game, this is the very "pay per pixel".

Needless to say, it is simply impossible for an adult, adequate person to “sell” such an option?

The essence of the gaming industry is to sell completely different things, including very special relationships with the player, and between the players ... This is a very important point, it has great potential for development.

In addition, the current model of the “monthly premium subscription” should be criticized and revised. Is this really the only option? Is it so effective?

Is “exploitation of a player’s gaming addiction” the most optimal way?

4. This is an irreconcilable conflict. (Between the appeal of a free game and the need to charge a donate).

In fact, this conflict is much harder and affects the problem of game design, mechanics and game balance.

The best thing that the gaming industry has come up with right now is to try to “hook” a player on a (inferior) game, and then suddenly “surprise” him with the fact that the game is basically unplayable without donation, and the only way to get a “new dose of the game” is to pay Donat.

The very mechanism of drug trafficking.

Need I say that this approach is sharply negative, in terms of the perception of computer games in society?

Why it happens? Again, due to a misunderstanding of the answer to the question - “What are we selling then?”

5. You are missing out on opportunities for creativity.

Here is just the case when the quote will have to be given in its entirety:

“If you sell hats, it’s true that you don’t destroy the game for everyone, but even so, you still miss the opportunity to devise a way to charge people ... so that it adds value and value to everyone.”

Absolutely true, one might even say _genious_, words ...

Bennett Fodd clearly indicates the impending revolution in the MMO games industry ...

It is necessary to look for new methods, approaches and paradigms ...

The boundaries of the game should constantly expand, the collection of money should become part of the game.

This will avoid a lot of related problems and conflicts, ultimately making the projects themselves much more massive, useful ... and profitable.

6. Modern MMOs are the opposite! (bonus)

Again, I would like to touch on this subtle and provocative moment.

Modern business ideas have had a great impact on the entire MMO industry, deploying the concept of multiple projects 180 degrees.

The current MMO project is really a “game”, but the game is precisely about “pumping” money out of a player, using his psychological weaknesses, problems and dependencies.

Need I say that in such a "consumer" attitude towards the player, the huge potential for self-destruction was initially laid down, both for a separate project and for the industry as a whole?

How long will it take to form a negative attitude towards multiplayer games in society and recognize the entire industry as a “creator and exploiter of addictions”?

After all, the farther this approach continues, the more negative perception and even direct resistance of the entire population will increase.

And here the space opens up for a variety of legislative initiatives regulating this market along with alcohol and tobacco! After all, material and political interest in such actions is steadily increasing every year.

The question is not how much I am right and whether I am “thickening up colors”, but that appropriate measures need to be taken now, creating new working methods and approaching game design in a fundamentally different way.

And for this you need the next generation of game designers, ready for a complete revision of all ideas about the game process and the interaction between people and the game.

Will it appear at all and will its representatives be enough for all market participants? I doubt it very much ...


The text turned out to be very long, in any other way.

I hope that you enjoyed this tour “on the other side of the barricades”, was useful and exciting for you.

See you again.

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