OPINION: Modern Game Monetization

Let’s talk about how modern companies monetize the games that they are releasing and how in many cases when it comes to free games the gameplay is, in my opinion, totally ignored… Even if the level or the game itself is fun it will still be annoying as there are companies that actually put an Ad straight after the level is over… Think about that… All you want to do is go back to the level… But what you really get is… Another Ad… Fun? I don’t think so!

To further talk about this issue and why my opinion is what it is today let’s go over some games in history when the technology wasn’t as cool and advanced as today.

Pacman: A very simple game with only one level and one goal… Eat all the dots while avoiding death!  Finished the level? It’s the same one all over again! But wait… It’s simple, fun and addictive… I remember playing Pacman a lot… Both on my PC and arcades. The question is: Why didn’t I mind coughing up coins for an arcade machine but I have a problem with micro transactions and too many Ads in a game? It’s simple… I wanted to play more and nothing stopped me from doing that… Hell I probably spent enough money on arcade machines to buy a pretty good computer in my younger age 🙂

Commander Keen: Now that was a fun game! Many hours of fun collecting chocolate bars, bubbles, killing aliens and what not? Pay once, infinite fun! The gameplay was fun, it was complex enough to make you interested and it had a lot of elements without damaging it’s simplicity in a way.

For me, if I had Ads in Pacman or CK between levels or in the middle of gameplay… OR if I had to actually purchase power-ups to be able to finish the game in a fun way without wanting to kill the world out of frustration I don’t think I would have had those fond memories of the games… Right?

Moving on… Technology is getting better all of a sudden we can play better quality audio, more colors! better graphics in general… More details… Fun times for games as game makers took upon them to create fun games that will use the technology and show the consumers that the products they are making are improving with the times… Then, still, companies cared about gameplay and plots and even if the game was a bit expensive usually it was hours and hours of fun alone or with friends trying to go forward and finish the game!

Somewhere between then and now, I don’t know when or who started it… The concept of gameplay and fun games started to die for the most except for a few companies that dominated and still dominate the market and micro transactions were introduced… And in many games that involved more than you playing with yourself it ruined the balance of the game… Suddenly a n00b that has a bit of money could buy power-ups and items that game him advantage over others and game him an ability to go where no other gamers in that game went… Thus pissing off the “classical gamers” and opening up a brand new market for game developers and companies alike… A market that in my opinion took games into a darker side where it’s all about milking the client instead of milking him less (no capitalist company is a saint) but giving him a great product for his one time investment.

This opened up a whole new world… Facebook games where all of a sudden Facebook has it’s own coin that you can use for things and buy for real money… Games like Candy Crush where you hit frustrating level… So frustrating that you want to kill someone… But you want to finish that level… You were so close last time! And then… wait… you can buy more “lives” for such a small amount of money… Time after time after time until you actually paid as much as I paid for arcade games in the past which in a way makes sense… But paying for power-ups and unfair advantage in multiplayer games… That’s just bad balancing and game design in my opinion….

So to make a long story short… I understand that companies need to make money and that it’s a very hard market to get into (AAA Game Companies) but there has to be a way to do that without spamming consumers with Ads or making an unfair balance in the game in the favor of those who are willing to pay money for shortcuts instead of actually playing the game…

I am for paying extra money for more lives in the game… I can’t be against that it’s the basic arcade method of making money… But showing Ads in every corner and halting the flow of a game for sometimes up to 2 minutes is not a good experience. So I guess to sum it up my problem is Ads… Mostly Ads and paid power-ups in multiplayer games… Which could be omitted in my opinion since many companies proved that you can make a lot of money in other ways.

Me personally, I would rather pay for games than having to put up with Ads… I wonder what is your opinion… Comment below 🙂

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