I can't say it any other way: I like free-to-play games. I think F2P games are great. Not only does it provide an escape from the "AAA game" cycle for both developers and gamers alike, but the games are actually good. Or great. Maybe excellent, even. But, I really don't know why everyone else doesn't see it the same way.
It's really strange how people hang such a heavy stigma on the free-to-play market. I've attempted to share my excitement with close friends, family, and distant brothers-in-arms, but I get no response. I don't know if they're just being nice or what, but it seems to me that being so excited about F2P games is taboo. I don't know who started the rumors or how people started thinking badly of F2P games, but they have such a bad reputation (well, at least here in North America).
|Both of these games were released in 2013. Warframe is free-to-play.|
|You paid HOW MUCH to try this game??|
And now, let's address the "pay-to-win" phenomenon. This is probably THE factor that most gamers associate F2P games with. People have this idea that you can't have a good experience in a F2P game unless you make an in-game purchase for that one weapon, item, or set of armor that makes you effectively unbeatable. The way I see it, people that subscribe to the "pay-to-win" idea are just psyching themselves out. While premium content may actually give players an apparent advantage over others, nothing beats experience. For first-person shooters, knowing the layout of the maps, understanding the common tendencies of the average player, being familiar of your equipment, and other factors can prove very effective against a player with superior equipment. However, experience is ultimately at the mercy of how the game was designed and balanced. The magnitude of the "pay-to-win" factor in a F2P game is directly determined by the intent of the game's design and how much care the developers put into keeping the gameplay fair and solid. Some games, like Candy Crush Saga, are designed mostly just to generate revenue, while others, like DOTA 2, are designed to provide a rich gameplay experience while keeping the price tag of the game optional.
|Unlike CCS, some F2P games are a little |
more polite and a little less imposing
about in-app purchases.
Given my experiences, I really wish that more people—especially those people I know—could see the perks of free-to-play gaming. With all the great gameplay and aesthetics one can experience without any financial obligation, I feel there is nothing more practical in gaming. With the free-to-play market thriving in Asia and South America, I certainly can't be the only one that sees this. Why more North Americans don't see it the same way is totally beyond me, especially when the demand for better games is growing quickly.