A a recent eSport centric panel, Dustin Browder, lead designer on StarCraft 2, said that Blizzard was considering a Free To Play option for StarCraft 2 multiplayer. At first I wrinkled my nose, perplexed. If they've already sold the game box, isn't it already free to play? Then my stupid subsided and I realized he meant an honest to goodness "no box purchase" version of the game, like League of Legends and Defense of the Ancients. After that point I got what Browder was getting at. They can't really offer a free to play version of the game until they know how to monetize such a version. [more info]
Obviously, most free to play games aren't really free to play. Even if you get the game for free, if you want to advance, customize, play certain maps, etc. you have to pay for it. These are typically micro-payments, giving you just enough "it's cheap" rope to hang yourself. This method of monetizing games has been incredibly profitable for some companies. And in the age of digital downloads versus store shelves, probably will continue to be for a while.
While I've got your attention...
A game industry friend of the site, Melissa, is doing one of the 24 hour gaming marathons via Extra Life for charity. She will be playing for Dell's Children's Medical Center of Central Texas. She's currently sitting at $106 of a $500 goal. I was hoping we could "GU-ize" that goal before the week is out. With plenty of time ahead of the October 20th Deadline.
Here's the link if you want to help out!
Melissa & ExtraLife via Donor Drive
Thanks as always guys!