Free To Play Fridays

I've started a series on free to play games recently, partially because there's a ton of free to play games available and also because of the unique challenges that free to play games face.

For those who are unaware Free to Play games generally follow a number of paradigms and need to nail certain goals to succeed. First, and most obviously, you need the game to be adopted by a significant amount of players which requires a heavy investment in promoting it; you'll also need to maintain a healthy base of players which will require incentivizing both time and money spent in the game and making sure the various currencies in the game stay relevant; and finally you need to ensure that the core experience is gratifying which is par for the course with games in general. 

My goal is to bring more attention to games that handle these things well in various forms. I've covered Faeria recently which is an early access and recently became a free to play game due to needing a healthy player base to encourage tournaments and multiplayer. This goes into one of the finer details of free to play games which is players as content. Ultimately the health of competition requires that competition be maintained and faeria is offering it in spades for a game of it's age. Not only is there a solo mode to hone your skills and test your decks vs AI opponents of decent skill but they offer free options to compete in a small scale tournament like platform called Pandora in an attempt to evolve the idea of Hearthstone's Arena mode. While offering players free loot for participating daily in a mini-tournament, they also encourage players to experiment with cards they don't possess with no penalty. I have found it enjoyable so far and would recommend it once you reach the required level to access it.

There are games which are struggling to come to terms with some of the concepts however. Pokemon GO which i have some articles prepped for but not yet published has diminished in player base rapidly since release due to a lack of features. While the game does encourage exploration and capture, the gym battling was one siding and required gimmicks to train the gyms to a decent level while most of the information about how attacks work combined monster stats are largely hidden. Not providing your players with information is always a bad deal but to top off they've only recently made the superfluous medals acquired through playing the game actually have a function. While this is a step in the right direction you should always attempt retention of players earlier rather than later.

I hope to be able to highlight some newer projects in the future, provided i get my new mouse on time. Current mouse is giving up the ghost and a backup was not currently in place. If you would like to keep up with my free to play list take a gander at the playlist on YouTube. As always, thanks for reading and watching, and have a good one! -VP 

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