Opinion: Free To Play Games Are Far Too Expensive

If you’re an avid gamer, especially on the mobile platform, you’ve probably noticed the multitude of free to play games hitting the market.  All of these games are free except they include a form of micro transactions to advance in the game without putting in the required time or provide items to help win areas.   While many individuals argue gamers do not need to purchase the items to complete the game, the question quickly becomes at what point is a game structured to take your money by intentionally creating obscene time requirements? 

For this article, I am going to use the example of World of Tanks.  I was fortunate enough to play the beta and quite enjoyed the game prior to its final launch; however the beta did not include the in game store or premium feature.  I recently decided to download the final release of the game and found myself enjoying it immensely until I realized the in game requirements to unlock higher tier tanks seem absurd!

At this point, I thought to myself well that’s OK, I can always purchase gold to help unlock the tanks or get the XP boost with premium.  Gold prices begin at $6.99 for 1250 or $99.00 for 25,000 as the most expensive.  My experience with gold in the beta (20,000 gold was provided for free) was that a fairly decent chunk is required in order to play with higher tier tanks, purchase equipment, and consumables.  As a result, the game requires a steady influx of cash if you wish to obtain the higher tier tanks. 

The time requirements to obtain the same amount of XP to unlock higher level tanks, consumables, and equipment is the equivalent of playing 10-15 hours a day.  While most hardcore gamers do not mind playing 10-15 hours a day to reach the required amount, the majority of gamers will either succumb to paying money for higher tier tanks (And some argue better game play) or walk away from the game.  I’m not against free to play games by any means as some are simply superb in their execution, such as World of Tanks.  I am against hitting a wall where it feels like no amount of grinding and mining of XP will result in successfully advancing in the game.

This is simply one example of one free to play game with micro transactions becoming nearly absolute in order to progress in what is an otherwise excellent game.  This trend is present in many other free to play games which are setting the precedent for future developers to follow.  Free to play games quickly become an expensive investment time wise and financially.  These games are designed to plateau gamers to a point where they must purchase content in order to be successful.  All in all, these games are absolutely not free to play.  You’re better off making a one time purchase than continuing to invest time and money into a game that is designed to simply take your cash.

2 comments:

  1. PC won this for me hands down

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    1. I haven't had a chance to play World of Tanks on PC yet; however I have heard awesome things as the PC version contains crews that can drastically alter the combat experience! I'm hoping the 360 version will include crews in the future :D!

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