But what is free-to-play and freemium?
With the business model conquering MMO's and now even console, it's about time I take a closer look.
Gameindustry.biz, gamasutra and wikipedia are 3 of them. You can also check youtube, GDC, video game intellegence.com and gamamoto.
I think wikipedia has a good definition for the freemium businessmodel.
Freemium is a pricing strategy by which a product or service is provided free of charge, but money (premium) is charged for proprietary features, functionality or virtual goods.
I wonder if there is a difference between free-to-play and freemium?
If you ask me, free-to-play is the same as free. A free or free-to-play product is a product that can be used or consumed by the customer without any constraints and where the seller makes no money in any way.
So my definition of freemium would be this:
A freemium product is a product provided free of charge, but money (premium) is charged for proprietary features, functionality or virtual goods that exists within the product.
what's there to sell?
Objects or items:
Most obviously, objects or items are the most common purchasable good in a game. Candy crush has it's lolli sticks, clash of clans has it's warriors, buildings etc. and crossy road and league of legends have their characters.
You can buy upgrades or items to increase certain abilities of another object or action.
RPG and building games are good at this. You all know the gems that will increase the strength, endurance etc. of your character when you attach that to your characters armor. The gems themself are objects, but they become attributes in the weider context.
Unlocking an ability or action. Unlocking spells is the most obvious example.
Unlocking new spaces in the game. Kins road has this. You can buy gems to unlock levels.
Candy crush has it also in some way. You can buy lolli sticks to beat the level and get acces to the next level. So in some way, you can say that buying lolli sticks is the same as buying a new level.
Time is a weird thing. When I talk about time as a purchasable good in a game, I talk about a timer or countdown. Time is more of a state in which an object occurs.
Spells, lives or energy can be in a "cooldown" state.
Next time I will talk about the experience of buying, how to sell things and try to make a new lens to add to our deck of lenses (the art of game design).