Cash-strapped gamers have never had it so good: today, there are plenty of companies literally giving games away for free. However, developers aren't simply doing this out of the goodness of their hearts; games without initial costs often feature non-traditional ways of making money. Recently, a few high profile games like Team Fortress 2 and World of Warcraft have started experimenting with free-to-play and micro-transaction payment models. They join a host to of other games that are trying to change the way players pay for games. This week, Jorge and I talk about some of the financial, gameplay, and cultural issues surrounding free-to-play business models. As always, we're always interested to hear any of your valuable thoughts, so feel free to jump into the comments with your thoughts.Some discussion starters:- What are some of your favorite free-to-play games and how do they implement their non-traditional payment models?- Do specific types of games or genres lend themselves well to the free-to-play model?- What kinds of cultural and socio-economic issues arise when transitioning to a micro-transaction payment system?To listen to the podcast:- Subscribe to the EXP Podcast via iTunes here. Additionally, here is the stand-alone feed.- Listen to the podcast in your browser by left-clicking here. Or, right-click and select "save as link" to download the show in MP3 format.- Subscribe to this podcast and EXP's written content with the RSS link on the right.Show notes:- Run time: 32 min 23 sec- "World of Warcraft goes free-to-play until characters hit level 20," via Joystiq- Music provided by Brad Sucks
- The Experience Points Podcast
- EXP Podcast #133: Born Free-to-Play
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