If you want to get the full scoop on how to make a free-to-play publishing studio work, there are few better people to talk to than the guys running Germany-based gamigo
. Co-CEOs Patrick Streppel
and Rainer Markussen
have had years to experiment and learn from the free-to-play market, as gamigo has been involved with dozens of titles across the globe.
Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz
, the duo says that the studio splits their attention between self-produced titles and already-made Asian MMOs that are transplanted to a different market, and the two are quite different indeed. "With our self-produced titles we are trying to merge the two branches, so in a game like Cultures Online
you have traditional browser-game monetisation like saving time, spending a little bit of money here and there. But they also have the more Asian-style revenue streams like crafting, enchanting, and paying for increasing the probability of success," Streppel said.
The CEOs state that F2P actually caters better to hardcore players since those players will presumably be around for a long time and F2P will save them money over subscriptions. They also discuss how gamigo's had to "raise the quality bar" to stay competitive. The free-to-play world isn't about cutting-edge graphics, Streppel says, but instead "balancing, more about features, about gameplay depth."
Because of their experiences, the CEOs have said that they've had to abandon complete genres such as sports and racing that proved to be failures for the company. They also predict that F2P will be coming soon to consoles in a big way, just as the iPhone and iPad market has embraced it.