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Free to play gaming has been a huge hot topic in the PC gaming world the past few years. With games like League of Legends, Planetside 2 and Runescape as examples of excellent free to play games that have attracted millions of players worldwide. Free to play games have commonly been referred to as “pay 2 win” games where the user could download the game for free but invest their own money to buy certain in game perks or items that could enhance the game further but also lead to players with no skill owning the best gear in the games. Well, Peter Molyneux (Theme Park, Populus, Fable, Black & White) has implementing a system the could reinvigorate the platform.
Veteran game developer Peter Molyneux is known throughout the community for his epic god sims and he has explained how he wished to change the face of free-to-play with his upcoming god sim known as Godus.
He explained in an interview with Pocket Gamer, “What we need is a new term, and that term is more like ‘invest-to-play.’ What really are we doing? We are tempting people to invest some of their money into a game.”
Godus will contain a form of monetization that hasn’t existed before in any games, with Molyneux saying that the current model of encouraging players to speed things up by spending money is “absolutely insane.” Instead, he wants to “tempt people to think about being proud about investing. Before we even talk about monetization, we want players to feel like Godus is a hobby (not just a game).” This I feel is a much better way of working with free to play games and when paying to speed levels up or pay for money in the game to give you an advantage this takes away the whole essence of what a game is. You won’t feel any emotion for an item in game that you just spend five dollars buying when compared to playing the game for ten hours and doing certain things to ascertain the item instead. The reward for me is always the journey not the outcome.
He did not unveil any details of the monetization plan for Godus and the game is yet to be fully released, but is currently available at the not so free price of $20 as part of the Steam early access beta. This all comes after EA’s reworking on the mobile version of Dungeon Keeper which again was modeled on the free to play platform and failed miserably with users having to pay for things in that game to speed up among a host of other paid benefits. Of that debacle, Molyneux says, “The free-to-play mechanic was so dominant that it obscured all the fantastic work they did. It was like a horrible odor.”
He adds that if he had been in charge of the Dungeon Keeper reboot, he “would probably not use the free-to-play model at all.”
Only time will tell to see how Molyneux implements his new theory into free to play games, but one thing is for sure and that is the need to change the model so that accustoms to everyone and stop people paying rather than playing to be the best.