Free-to-play? Pay-to-win? Not Ben… surely?! Our resident grumpy-old-man explains here why sometimes a quick leg-up is better than spending your free time grinding.
The more I think about it, the more I worry I’m becoming the target market for the free-to-lay design model. Or worse still, the pay-to-win one which is absolutely terrifying.
I have to be honest about life sometimes and that much as I like to indulge myself in the wonderful world of video games family, work and life in general just gets in the way. Free time is very precious and I simply don’t have the opportunity for marathon gaming sessions like I used to. As a result I don’t have the hours and hours to put in levelling characters, going on quests for the most epic of loot or get good enough through repeated practice to defeat a game’s toughest challenges.
Don’t get me wrong, I certainly have the willpower and (waning) ability to do so – I just don’t have the time.
Developers and publishers have realised that, as the average age of the gamer is now 36, people like me are a huge part of the market. It’s an average age that’s only going to get higher too, I suspect. Now, there are many 36-year-olds out there who are relatively time-poor yet relatively disposable income-rich. Or, rich enough to drop a few quid here and there on a micro-transaction. After all, it’s the same price as a coffee, right?
And for the price of a coffee you can get that little leg up you need. But one coffee isn’t enough, you’re soon thirsty for another and another…