I’ll save you some time: fuck no.

Why? Yes, there’s the pay-to-win argument synonymous with the F2P business model. There’s also the proclivity for more toxic communities when there’s no barrier to entry. Think of it like the difference between trying to find love on eharmony vs. Tinder. The paywall is your only hope.

But possibly even worse, F2P in almost all cases perverts game design. In an ironic twist Overwatch’s premium model (paid price of admission) allows Blizzard greater creative control in terms of gameplay.

When most F2P games are built, monetization has to be heavily integrated into the design. This means crafting the game from the ground up with manipulation in mind. The ups and downs of the game are tweaked to mess with our emotions to get to our wallets. Money becomes as much of part of the game as much as maps, weapons, and mechanics.

Take Overwatch’s heroes for example. If you had to pay or earn in-game bux for the heroes, the whole balance of the game is solely dependent on a monetary investment. Players become pay-walled out of strategies. The game becomes lesser in the scope, in it’s meta, and your thinking of it.

In effect, F2P places profits before player’s enjoyment. It’s the result of capitalism creeping into the very structure of entertainment. What happens to play when the act of it is intimately tied to triggering the urge to spend?

I imagine it looks something like this:

slot-machine-odds-explained

 

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