The Free-to-Play Model, and Game Economics

This last article I found is unlike the others in that its focus is less on esports and more on games in general. It still applies to my topic and contains useful information about game economy. League of Legends is a Free-to-Play game, and has it’s own in-client store where you can purchase accessories for use in-game. The thing that Riot does right with League however that other companies butcher, is that League of Legends is not a “Pay-to-Win” game. The accessories you buy have no effect on the outcome of the game, and it is possible to be the rank 1 player in the game without spending a single dollar at the store. The largest form of income from the game’s store is in cosmetics, that is, the “skins” you can buy that change your character’s in-game appearance. The more fearsome or detailed the skin, the higher the price. The part that might surprise you though is the amount of money this game actually makes without forcing you to spend anything. As an esport model, free games will always attract more players, and just like you can pick up a soccer ball and play right away with friends, so too can you download League of Legends and play right away with friends. I will definitely include a section of my final paper on this business model and its success, especially in the face of subscription-based online games like World of Warcraft.


2 thoughts on “The Free-to-Play Model, and Game Economics”

  1. I tend to agree with you on this. I know that playing online games like Candy Crush give you the opportunity to buy more lives or more boosters etc. Personally, I have never spent a penny, but I am sure that there are many people that do. Recently, I saw candy crush candy featured in the aisle of a super market, so I am sure that there are many ways where the video game designers can make money from players.

    1. Pay-to-Win games are very scary indeed! Imagine if a game like Call of Duty had such an in-game market! You could use real money to buy mmore perks, equipment, armor, or more powerful guns! The game would be much different and I’m sure people would spend a lot on that kind of thing too, which is a sad thought. It seems like mostly the community has a negative view of these games though, which helps keep greedy game companies in check with how they go about designing their games. My dad though plays Mafia Wars through Facebook a lot, and I like to ask him about how hes doing in it and stuff. He tells me what level he is and I’m like “wow that sounds really high” but then he tells me that there are so many people who play that are much higher than him and just spend thousands of dollars to upgrade their stuff. It’s really unfortunate really how greedy some companies can be..

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