The good and bad side of free to play games.
The free to play model is something that hasn’t really been a thing back in the days of when I used to play video games. You used to simply pay an upfront price for a full game and then pay more later if they ever did an expansion. I want to highlight some good and bad examples of free to play games and I’m going to throw my opinion into the mix so you can see where I stand on the matter. Also, be sure to check out my opinion on Loot Boxes.
First, I will talk about the bad examples of free to play games and those are, in my opinion, Revelation Online and Aura Kingdom. I played these free to play games a while ago, they are both MMORPGs, but their problems are different. Let’s start with Revelation, the bad part is with the cash shop, inside the cash shop, you can buy items that can then be used for your character for progression. This means you could spend money and be ahead of all the other players because you would have the necessary in game materials to upgrade gear ahead of all other players. In Aura Kingdom, the bad part with that game is how grindy it is to get near to the top when you hit level 70-80. Each daily quest you do gives you about 3-4% so it takes time while being very repetitive and not enjoyable because you are doing the same quests over and over. Those are really the only issues I came across with those games that made me stop playing them, but overall those games were fun to play.
Now, some examples of good free to play games are Warframe and Path of Exile. Warframe is a co-op 3rd person shooter with elements of a RPG while Path of Exile is a RPG hack and slash. The good thing with both games is they are not pay to win and in Path of Exile’s case, the only thing you can spend money on are Stash Tabs to hold more gear, currency and cosmetic items to make your characters look awesome. With Warframe, you can spend Platinum (in-game currency) to buy Prime parts. But these are not necessary because having Prime parts doesn’t make you more powerful, it’s the Mods that you have on your Warframe and weapons that make them powerful. Also, prices do vary for Prime parts. You can also just earn them but using Relics and they are easy to obtain.
In my opinion, free to play games are a great idea, it’s just the execution on them sometimes can just completely ruin them because you need to find a balance between it being free while also finding something for the player to want to spend money on that wont damage, break the game or even make it unfair for other players. The main thing devs do now is skins for characters or just cosmetic content in general that has no impact on the gameplay, just the way you look. The best example of this is Fortnights battle royale mode; it’s free to play but they give out Battle Passes that you will spend a few pounds on that will give you a bunch of cosmetic content for playtime. Or you could just buy the skins for a bigger price by buying V-Bucks (Fortnights in-game currency). The main reason why this is so successful is because the skins they create and release are skins that look good and players want. This means that the devs can then take this money and bring it back into the game by giving them free updates, like adding in new weapons and maps.