GSN Games Talks about the State of the Free-to-Play Genre
Kenny Dinkin and Ray Holmes of GSN Games took the stage at GDC 2015 this week to discuss free-to-play (F2P) games and some of the problems that often can arise with this genre. They made a lot of interesting points and discussed some popular pay to play games that could work as F2P as well. The rise of mobile games has brought with it the rise of the free-to-play game, where the game is completely free, but includes in-app purchases that are often required to progress in the game. This free-to-play model has moved far past simple mobile games and has found its way into much larger titles from bigger studios like Sony Online Entertainment, Blizzard and more. At first glance you would think a free-to-play game would be much more difficult to earn revenue, but that just isn't really the case for successful F2P games, Candy Crush is making $1M a day. Because of these hit games in the F2P space, the genre has seen a massive increase, because there are so many more developers scrambling to enter into the F2P space. There are also more failures because it doesn't always mean a recipe for success.
The F2P RisksKenny went into further detail of the common ways studios are seeing failures in the F2P space.
- The first is the UA costs (User Acquire) many developers can't afford to acquire new users.
- The other is that they may have the retention with the players, but they can't figure out how to properly monetize their game
- They might be able to earn a little money with in-app purchases but the problem now is being able to keep the players.