The Stratospheric Rise of Free to Play Games

Free to Play Games

Over the past five years there’s been an enormous rise in the number of games that are available to play on a completely free basis. It used to be that platform games would be the kind of thing that required you to save up all of your pocket money for months to buy, but nowadays it’s possible to play totally free. So, what’s behind the rise of free play games and how do they make money?

No Downloading Necessary

One of the big bonuses of free play games is that they tend to be more straightforward than their expensive counterparts. Particularly in the world of PC gaming, browser based free play games are super popular and easy to come across. The casino sphere has woken up to the free to play trend, giving customers the opportunity to try out different slot titles completely free. The idea is that people can try games out for an unlimited amount of time and if they particularly enjoy the game then they might progress to the pay to play version. For those who are keen to save money and time there are a plethora of free slots with no download available to play at Vegas Slots Online. These games can be played entirely in your browser and there are hundreds of titles available. Of course, it’s not just casino sites that feature browser based games, some of the oldest titles around can be played in a browser. People who grew up in the 90s and 00s might remember Line Rider, Insaniquarium and the infamous Snake to name but a few.

Bringing Back Beloved Genres

Although there’s an argument that the love of simulation games has fallen in recent years, there’s actually been a boom in free to play sims. Particularly in the PC and mobile gaming world, simulation games that are free to play have been soaring in popularity. Massive multiplayers are a relatively modern phenomenon and simulation games lend themselves particularly well to this format. ( Games where you get ahead by cooperating with your neighbours, like Castaway Paradise, have awakened people to a more communal way of life, that’s an attractive proposal for some in our increasingly goal-oriented way of life in the Western world. As well as this, the massive multiplayer format makes creating complex systems possible, for example working economies. Simulation fans will enjoy games like the creatively named Business Simulation Game, where it’s fairly self-explanatory what you’ll be doing. The nuances available in this game are incredible and the realism of the self-governing economy will be fascinating to any math lovers.

The Option to Skip Ahead

When it comes to actually making money from free to play games, there are two common routes, advertisements and micro-transactions. Advertisements are the most common by far in the PC gaming world, whereby advertisers buy space in the sidebar or header of the web page. Micro-transactions are more common in the world of mobile apps and platform games. This model works by giving the consumer the game for free and then charging them if they’d like to skip ahead through some waiting time, or customise the game in some way. In Farmville, a hugely popular mobile app and browser game, you can buy in-game currency that will allow you to soar through building new items, instead of waiting for sometimes days for them to be finished. Humans are impatient, so this strategy can be a lucrative one. As well as this, the option to customise is another popular choice for those looking to monetize a free game. It could be that you want your avatar to have green hair, or you might want to buy a new weapon for your soldier character. Pokémon Go offers users the option to get ahead by buying lures to draw out rare Pokémon. Whichever free game you choose to play; you’ll likely be able to spot the way that they’re making their money. 

Reaching a Larger Audience

If you can’t find how the free game is making its money, then take a look at the developers. If they have one flagship free game and a slew of others that are paid for then it could simply be that the free game is an advert in itself. Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp works in exactly this way, allowing users to become familiar with the style and characters of Animal Crossing, in the hopes that they’ll invest in the game itself. 


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