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Found 15 results

  1. Blazeknyt

    Free to Play, Free to Exploit?

    There has been a recent article on IGN, as well as a video discussion about the free to play model. Feel free to read it here. As my last post was about DLC, I have decided to talk about something that is related yet different from DLC, the free to play model. The free to play model (or F2P, as many abbreviate it to) is simple. The game itself is free, but in order to gain certain perks and items, you must pay real money. Many MMOs do this, such as my favorite, Dungeon Fighter Online (DFO). I personally never spent money on it, but I could have spent $5 in order to have unlimited weight in my storage chest, and much more space. There are also certain avatar items that allow you to change the appearance of your character and give certain stat increases, thus making dungeons a bit easier to get through. Customizing a character in DFO The distrust of the free to play model does not stem from not the fact that the free to play model exists, but how it is implemented, and what is offered. In DFO, you had to find what you needed, and decide if it was worth it. Are those 3 items worth the critical hit boost that complement your skills? They just might be worth the $10. If you bought the items, then the game gets a bit easier for you. If you didn“t buy the items, it“s not like the game took anything away from you. You can still play the game as much as you please, and how you please. You were not restricted in any other way. The items compliment your abilities and skill. If the items have a substantial effect in making the player better, then some players may call the game a “pay to win†scenario. Pay for all these super cool items, and you can kick butt everywhere you go. This type of scenario basically allows for the players to have less skill in the game. Think of it as getting the best product money can buy, and then becoming famous because you have the item, not your skill in using the item. On the other hand, distrust can stem from limiting content or playtime. Certain Zynga games have come under fire for limiting playtime. As much as I love Tekken Revolution, the fact that you are only allowed 5 online tokens at startup makes the game go that much faster. Before I know it, I“ve used my tokens and have to wait it out. I am limited to those 5 until 1 is replenished every 20 minutes or so. The cost of that is the fact that I don“t have to pay for the game at all, and it perfectly emulates the arcade experience. Strangers challenge you, and you duke it out. Now just imagine paying 50 cents for every fight that you take, much like in a real arcade. Maybe there should be a tweak where after winning 3 matches in a row, the winner gets a token back, because in the a real arcade scenario, the winner keeps on fighting and doesn“t pay again. The author of the IGN article uses trust as the basis of his article, and it is true, that is what this is about. One does not want to destroy the trust of the fans and then lose out on the game that one worked so hard to put out to the public. But it is also a tough business decision on the makers of the game, because the platform on which the game is released can determine which business model will work best. Are there any favorite games that could benefit from the free to play model? What if a certain game that you loved used the free to play model?
  2. Marcus Estrada

    Rift Goes Free to Play in June

    Free to play games are one massive trend that show no sign of slowing down just yet. Most every MMO has had to ditch subscriptions for it at one point or another, although some still manage to keep a subscriber base. Rift is one such game that has been going since 2011 with monthly fees. Come June 12th, users won't be required to continuously feed money into the game. Trion Worlds announced that their flagship MMO is joining the ranks of its F2P brethren, although a subscription will still be available. The game itself will be free and there will be no other fees applied to users, unless of course they wish to expand various options. If you buy the Rift now then you'll be granted extra character, bag, and expansion slots. Beyond that, anyone who maintains a subscription beyond the F2P date is set to get a good deal of bonuses applied to their account. They will get things like 15% more currency, daily XP boosts, 10% faster mount speed, and more. The full list of bonuses is available here.
  3. Marcus Estrada

    DUST 514 Officially Launches on PS3 Today

    Today is the big day for DUST 514. The game had previously been available in beta form for PS3 owners but is now fully launched with today's PlayStation Store update. This stands to be one of the most anticipated digital launches in the system's recent history. DUST 514 is an expansion of the EVE Online universe. EVE Online is a PC exclusive MMO which has garnered tons of players since it launched ten years ago. With their latest game, players will be able to still be a part of EVE even though they're playing via PS3. If you're interested you don't worry about paying any fees. Unlike EVE, DUST 514 is a free to play title. Of course, there are still microtransactions available. Those who were a part of the beta don't have to re-download the entire game. All that's required is to update the game and it will be ready to go.
  4. Ridge Racer is one expansive racing game series. Since starting out in 1993 as an arcade game, it grew and grew. There have since been innumerable iterations across various systems and arcades. Until now, Ridge Racer Unbounded was the latest version out. Now Namco Bandai have announced Ridge Racer Driftopia to appeal to a new audience. Oliver Comte, senior president of Namco Bandai Games Europe, made this statement to Siliconera to explain why Driftopia exists as a free to play title: “At Namco Bandai Games we are committed to embracing new business models alongside the still vital traditional retail sector. Free-to-play is playing an increasingly important role, so it“s very exciting to be bringing one of our most successful franchises to the free-to-play space for everyone to enjoy.” The F2P model for this game includes optional purchases for repair kits, XP boosts, and more cars. No date has been revealed yet but Driftopia is coming to PS3 and PC later this year.
  5. Marcus Estrada

    Minimum Alpha Launches Next Week

    If you followed any of the Aliens: Colonial Marines mess then you're probably already a little familiar with TimeGate Studios. The developer's dubious distinction may be overlooked if their upcoming game is any good, though. The team have been working on a free to play title named Minimum and it's about to launch into alpha. Minimum is a shooter but with a visual style closer to Minecraft than the Call of Duty series. Possibly in a way to absolve themselves of future blame, TimeGate has also said the following: "This is our promise to you. We believe in MINIMUM, and want your Influence, your ideas and your creativity to steer us. Not only will we listen, as every other developer promises to do, but we are also creating a mechanism to empower you, just as our entire team is empowered. The fun, the heart of MINIMUM is no longer just ours, and we can“t wait to see where we collectively go from here." Those interested in testing out the alpha version will be required to pre-purchase on Steam as it's an Early Access title. This is probably set to annoy some, but may become more common in the future. No price for the Early Access copy has been detailed yet. Minimum's closed alpha begins on April 16th.
  6. So far, it seems that Path of Exile is the kind of free to play game that there neesd to be more of. The action RPG is quite reminiscent of Diablo but is completely free (aside from cosmetics) and has been since the beta launched. We took it for a spin a while back and quite enjoyed it, although there were still some annoying bugs. If you're not a fan of games in beta then perhaps it will be worth checking out once finally hitting version 1.0. According to the Joystiq interview with Grinding Gear Games, this will come later in the year. So far, that is expected to happen in about six months. In the meantime, and even after, small patches go out to update the game and add in new things. Version 1.0 is set to bring a great deal more monsters and items, among other updates. What about expanding the game even more? That's where expansions come in, and what may cost players money. Expansions will consist of new acts to the game (of which there are currently three). With his being the case, only one act per year seems feasible. If all goes well, Grinding Gear Games hopes to release a new act a year for five to ten years.
  7. Marcus Estrada

    GDC 2013: Total War Goes Free to Play

    Creative Assembly have been creating the Total War series of games since the initial launch of Shogun: Total War in 2000. Since then they have expanded to others such as Medieval times, Rome, and Napoleonic war. However, something they have never done is create a free to play title. Of course this means they have finally announced one. Total War: Arena is a F2P game that sets its sights on the MOBA genre but infuses it with more RTS elements to keep the Total War feel intact. Creative Assembly primarily decided to take this method with the game because it requires masses of players to work best (matches to be 10 versus 10). Having a game available for free should definitely help in that regard. So far, no setting has been announced for the game world. One thing exciting about the prospect of Arena is that they may pull from the locations of their past games, or entirely new ones, to showcase battles between very distinct armies. If you're interested in playing Total War: Arena, the official site has beta applications open right now.
  8. If you're a Phantasy Star Online fan, then you probably recall that last summer Sega announced Phantasy Star Online 2 for a North American launch. At that time, they said it would come to PC in "early 2013". Well, we've about worked through all of early 2013 so far which pretty much solidifies Sega's next statement. They told Polygon the following: "Originally slated for an early 2013 launch, Sega can officially confirm that PS02 has been delayed. We don“t have any specifics but will update everyone as soon as there are more details to share." At least this isn't a cancellation notice. Still, it is a shame to see this anticipated free-to-play title strung out so long in front of fans. Of course, those really hungry to play it could just download the Japanese version instead. Also, we still see no discussion of the Vita version coming West, so that may be completely out of the equation now. Are you interested in PSO2 or is it just another MMO to you?
  9. PAX East kicked off today with a Blizzard Entertainment panel and it was at this event that they unveiled a new game. It's titled Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft which is a card game based off the Warcraft universe. Interestingly, this is also Blizzard's first free-to-play game effort. How is the developer/publisher preparing for their new game? They've set up a separate internal group to take care of Hearthstone, which is comprised of only fifteen people. So far, Blizzard is planning on having 300 cards available. Of course, getting additional cards for your decks will be achieved through buying digital booster packs. Are you interested in giving the new card game a shot? Beta applications are currently available on the official website, although the beta isn't live yet. Blizzard expects to see it open up this summer. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is for PC, Mac, and iOS.
  10. Marcus Estrada

    Uncharted 3 Multiplayer Goes Free to Play

    Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, the continuation of Sony's exclusive series, first hit store shelves in 2011. Since then the series has branched out onto Vita but the multiplayer of 3 has been going strong. Apparently it still has enough life in it that today Sony announced that they are making multiplayer its own entity and one which is free to play. Now you don't even need to own Uncharted 3 to jump into an online match. Instead, you simply have to download the multiplayer component and can begin playing it immediately. There's no fee to pay although restrictions hit you once you hit level 15. At that point, all your statistics continue to be calculated but you will be unable to level up anymore (without paying). If you do choose to spend money then all the previous work will be retroactively added, meaning you'll be at the proper level. Beyond that, players are also able to purchase other features of the game. Here is the full list of microtransactions: Multiplayer Co-op Adventure Add On – Unlocks Co-Op Adventure mode including the Fort Adventure DLC Multiplayer Co-op Arena Add On – Unlocks to gain access to the Co-Op Arena Playlist including the Co-Op Shade Survival Mode DLC. Multiplayer Competitive MP (No Level Limit) – Removes the level cap. Multiplayer Competitive MP (Level 25 Limit) – Removes the Level 15 cap and allows you to play up to Level 25 Multiplayer Split Screen Add On – Unlocks Co-Op Adventure mode including the Fort Adventure DLC Map Packs – Unlocks all three DLC map packs. Includes Flashback Map Pack 1, Flashback Map Pack 2, and Drake“s Deception Map Pack Drake“s Deception Single Player Experience – Unlocks the Single Player campaign Yes, if you enjoy multiplayer enough you can "unlock" single player. It's a strange way of handling a game, but Naughty Dog will probably see some users who enjoy multiplayer later giving the rest of the game a shot. You can download the multiplayer component of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception today. Do you think slicing a game up into free and pay components will become a larger trend?
  11. Kickstarter has seen many gaming-based successes launch from its platform. One such game was The Banner Saga which was funded 700% over the $100,000 requirement. This turn-based RPG with hand-drawn visuals drew in many fans in March and April of last year, when the campaign ran. Now, the team have released The Banner Saga: Factions on Steam. This requires a bit of clarification though. The full game that Kickstarter funded is a single player experience with an apparently mature narrative. What then is Factions? It is a free-to-play multiplayer only game which uses the same combat engine as The Banner Saga. As it's free to play, no one should feel ripped off as the team continues to work on their main single player game. What is the point of this if not tons more money? As this project features the current SRPG gameplay in full it should work as an open beta would. Players will experience turn-based gameplay and work out what parts should probably be fixed or otherwise tweaked. The Banner Saga (not Factions) still has no release date.
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