Yes, I know this isn’t mobile game related, but I want to talk PC for a moment. Having just quit Path of Exile, I’m looking for a new game to play. I didn’t quit out of frustration or anything, I just got tired of the game. I think I sunk upwards of 500 hours into the game and I think it’s time for me to move on. Battlefield 1 looks incredible, but it’s still a ways away. I’m pretty excited about Overwatch, as I’ve played the beta extensively. I think I got about 18 hours logged in over the course of the week long beta. Needless to say, I’ve already pre-ordered it. Blizzard Entertainment released some interesting statistics recently too. Apparently over 9 million players tried the beta with the average person logging in for a bit over 8 hours. I suspect the game is going to be another blockbuster for Blizzard. I’m still a bit confused by the buy to play model though. Most people figured Overwatch would follow in Hearthstone‘s footsteps as a free to play game. Even Lawbreakers from Nexon which is coming out later this year surprised everyone by announcing a retail model. Atlas Reactor did the same exact thing! Despite this, I don’t think free to play is dead.
Survival games like Grim Dawn, Fragmented, and Grimm: Dark Legacy have always been buy to play games, but aside form a handful of genres and a couple oddball MMORPGs like Boundel, most other games seem to be trending towards free to play. Even obscure games like Dropzone and Battlesouls have embraced the free to play genre which has traditionally been limited to MMOs, FPS, and MOBAs. Dropzone actually looks quite fun as it seems like a more action packed MOBA. It’s hard to get excited about MOBAs though, as it seems like every new MOBA quickly turns from hype to flop. I enjoyed Infinite Crisis for a cool month before I realized it was going downhill, and downhill it went as it shut down less than 6 months after launching. Interestingly though, despite nearly EVERY MOBA game being free to play, Gearbox launched Battleborn as a $59.99 title on PC and console. Paragon cost money too, but only doing early access (it’ll be f2p at launch). Despite this, the game has a huge playerbase at the moment, but I can’t imagine the game succeeding. Why pay for Battleborn when EVERY other MOBA (especially the super popular ones like Dota and League) are free to play?
Despite the recent surge in buy to play online games, I think the trend of free to play games taking over the market is here to stay. Yes, indie games like Techwars Online and Star Realms will always opt to go buy to play over a cash shop free to play model, mainly because they’ll never have the critical mass to monetize the way other games do. Games like The Aetherlight and Wizard101 will also be more pay to play as these games aren’t targeting broad audiences. So despite the recent popularity of buy to play, free to play is definitely here to stay.