why are video games moving from standalone titles to to Microtransaction heavy models or Free-To-Play models?


Some background; I don’t follow video games. I used to a lot. But the last video game I played and really, really enjoyed was Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. During recent searches, I’ve understood that although titles like Overwatch, Fortnite, The Division etc are very popular, there’s still a bunch of quality single player games being made.

My question is primarily, why are video game companies moving towards this model?

Is there any inherent benefit to it? How do the corporations pushing these games such as EA or Activision (with Black Ops 4 going that route recently, if I’m not mistaken) benefit? Do the gamers benefit in any way?

And also, are there any changes in demographics of gamers? Do people prefer these “Games As A Service” as they’re calling it, over more traditional models?

Any information will be SUPER helpful. Thank you!

In: Economics

5 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments


It turns out that if you make a free to play game with microtransactions, most players will pay nothing or only a small amount, but some people will get addicted and spend hundreds or even thousands on it.

Because there’s no upfront cost to start playing the game, there’s the potential to have far more players than a traditional game. So even if most of those barely spend anything on it, there are enough “whales” (actual industry term) who pay more than enough to make up for that.

It doesn’t really benefit gamers, it’s not meant to. It’s meant to make money.

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