What Does Free-to-Play Mean?

“Free-to-play” is regarded as any application or video game that gives users the option to download or play without paying. In comparison to some massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) that require monthly subscription, players may play the game for free. “Free-to-play” or F2P started when MMORPGs were developed in the late 1990s.

free to play browser games
Screen capture from Gunshine browser RPG (now closed down, sadly) illustrating why some players prefer free to play

Although this model was adopted for casual gamers, game companies began using it to oppose high system requirements and piracy of video games. Aside from this, shifting from the traditional model to free-to-play began because of changes in perception on game success. It was previously perceived that the more units of a game sold by the unit price, the more successful the game were. After considering that the number of gamers that are continuously playing and the number of spending opportunities the game can offer the players are more important, game publishers began developing free-to-play versions of their games.

Free-to-play games therefore are deemed helpful for game companies in attracting more players. These are also helpful for those who want to try the game first before purchasing it. These are reasons why many game publishers keep free-to-play versions of the games available.

Because of this, some game publishers rely on particular in-game items in order to generate revenue. These in-game items help in improving the gaming experience of the player. These items may include items that boost the power of the player, increase speed of progression, or simply for cosmetic purposes. There are also game developers that place advertisements into the games in order to gather revenue that is lost due to offering the game for free. Other game publishers employ time limits for free-to-play games, meaning that the player should buy the item or the game when the free-to-play application expires and yet he or she still wants to continue playing.

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