Monday, July 16, 2012

When Free To Play Really Isn’t – In-Game Purchases The New DLC Concept

Ouya For those who don’t know what DLC is is it means Downloadable Content, basically a way to add new content to a game such as new maps, new weapons, new missions and more. You basically buy a game, play the game as is and eventually the game makers will throw in some added content thru a DLC you purchase to add to the game to extend it’s lifespan and prevent the game from becoming boring and repetitive.

I recently posted about a PC World article that spoke of a kickstarter project called Ouya, an Android powered, open sourced game console and how the writer of the article had no idea what he was talking about. One of his points about how this kickstarter project might be a bad idea was how piracy would be a big problem for a console made with open sourced software. How it would be easy for people to simply look for a paid app on the net, download it and play it on a console specially made to be hacked. Of course the genius failed to notice how the project stated it was aiming at a Free To Play platform in essence eliminating the whole piracy issue because who pirates free stuff after all?

However, in keeping up to date with tech and gaming current events I discovered that there may be a possibility to make the games this console free to play and still turn a profit while avoiding piracy. The key could be the extras the developers can add to the games as add-ons that can be purchased thru the game. Take Call Of Duty for example. Currently there is a free to play Call Of Duty online version that will be released in Asia soon where the key to the profits will be in the weapons and such that you will be able to purchase within the game. Basically anyone with access to the game will be able to play it for free, but if you want that cool Golden Deagle, that fiery Flamethrower (if they have one) or that kick ass claymore, you gonna have to cough up some cash to buy it in the game. Otherwise you gonna be stuck with the stuck weapons in the game.

In essence the same concept could be applied to the games made for this console. The developers can make them free to play but if you want the extras you gonna have to pay thru the game to get them. Now granted I am not well versed in how the whole buying thru the app concept works and it’s possible even this could be hacked but I have to believe it can work. I mean, it works for other games like Call Of Duty and any other game that gas either DLC or in-game purchases.

Of course one can only hope this is not the case and developers will not seek to make a profit from this one way or another but sometimes money makes people do crazy things. What do you think? Could in-game purchasing be the key to making a profit from an Android based, open source gaming console with a free to play platform? Would you prefer to pay for add-ons from within the free-to-play game as oppose to pay for the game and future versions?

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