Now I’ll briefly discuss some business models. Please note that I’m probably a bit biased.
The “standard” model. You pay for a game once and then it is yours. For all eternity… Oh, you want an example? Hmm… Let’s see. Oh! Project Zomboid 1 mentioned in an earlier post is a good example.
- You don’t have to keep track of all the players
- The eventual income will spike and then drastically fall.
- Typically means there will be sequels if the devs are successful.
Well, the most obvious example I can come up with is World of Warcraft 2, where you pay a fee each month to continue playing.
- Continuous cashflow means an ability to have continuous development
- Makes scalability easier
- Player database needed to keep track of payments etc.
- I think this model is perfectly suited for the MMO type of games which take a lot of time and effort to maintain and develop. You already do have a player database with accounts, so this should not be that much of a problem.
A great example is the giant in the MOBA-genre 3, DotA 2. In this game you can buy skins and new visual styles for the characters in the game.
- Players get to play, haters get to hate and lovers get to love. You don’t have to feel bad for trying to trick money out of someone…
- … or yes you do. But how!? This business model requires something else to generate income, such as ads or in-game purchases.
A thing to keep in mind is that it is not completely impossible to switch business model, even though it might hurt some of your playerbase. One example of where a switching between business models has been successful is Heroes of Newerth 4. The game is F2P since the 20th of July 2012 0.