Monday, July 04, 2011

Is free to play really the best business model? (part 1)

World of Tanks has a very successful business model. They have an entertaining game which has attracted millions of players and a lot of those players are spending significant  amounts of money on the game. A recent post from Tobold suggests that he has already spent €250 on the game and can see himself continuing to spend €100 per month in the future. Perhaps the most significant feature of all this is that those players who have spent money on the game seem very content to have done so. The most common comment is "It was worth it".

You cannot argue with success and this is clearly a successful business:  Customers who are willingly spending money and who are happy with what they are getting for it. The success of World of Tanks marks another milestone for so called "free to play" games. Adding this success to previous reports of increased profits from companies who switched their games from subscription only to free to play has left very little room for those who doubt the efficacy of the free to play model. Success breeds imitation so you can bet we are going to see more free to play games, a lot more of them.

I am feeling argumentative though so in tomorrow's post I want to play devil's advocate and expose a flaw in the free to play business model.

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