Pay-to-win can be viable business model, says Gibson

Pay-to-win can be viable business model, says Gibson

Original post by Craig Chapple via develop

Developers urged to look beyond vocal minority and investigate commercial practices of top games

Employing aggressive monetisation strategies and pay-to-win models can lead to commercial success, says Games Investor Consulting director Nick Gibson.

In his latest Develop column, Gibson said that despite a vocal minority in many games objecting to ‘sophisticated’ microtransaction models, most users were actually seemingly indifferent to certain business tactics.

Citing EA’s Battlefield Heroes as an example, he explained that despite an outcry against the publisher’s decision to begin selling gameplay advantages long after its initial release, churn and new registrations remained unaffected.

In fact, he said, pay conversion rates and revenues leapt upwards following the switch, with the game’s user base tripling to ten million as of January 2012.

Gibson also cited other examples such as BioWare’s freemium microtransaction and subscription hybrid for Star Wars: The Old Republic and Aeria Games’ Shaiya MMO as proof pay-to-win can work.


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