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Launched today: Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games

By on October 18, 2012

After the fantastic feedback we’ve had to our ongoing series of Free-to-Play design rules on the site, we’re delighted today to announce the launch of the latest book from GAMESbrief – Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, which is available to buy now on Kindle.

The book, which Nicholas and I co-authored, builds on the rules which we’ve posted on the site. Around three quarters of the content is brand new and not available online, including more examples and explanations for each rule, as well as a large section of reference material explaining the business, financial and psychological concepts which underpin the free-to-play business model.

This is our first time using Kindle as a publishing platform, and we’re really pleased with how it’s turned out. The book packs in a lot of information, and we think it’s going to be an incredibly useful read for anyone involved in building or launching free-to-play games. Being on Kindle means that anyone with a Kindle eReader, a smartphone, a tablet or just a computer can buy and read the book with ease – and it’s also allowed us to keep the price tag remarkably low. Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games will cost you less than the price of a cup of coffee – even quite cheap coffee.

Of course, the F2P Rules series on the website isn’t going anywhere – we want it to be online as a useful reference to anyone who needs it – but if you find that series helpful or interesting, you should definitely read the book. There’s more depth, more information, more background and more food for thought. We really think it’s a must-read for anyone who wants to understand free-to-play – whether you’re a game creator, a publisher, a journalist, or indeed anyone who simply wants to understand what the future of the games business looks like.

The book launches today, so we’re really keen to hear everyone’s feedback. In the meanwhile, though, here are some of the things which industry professionals  said about Nicholas’ recent presentation of the 15 Free-to-Play Design Rules at the F2P Summit in London…


“15 bullet points of useful information with lots of meat and no fluff. Head and shoulders above the rest.”
Wolfgang Hamann, Koolhaus Games

“Nicholas Lovell’s presentation was outstanding… Particularly useful for me as someone who has just made the change from 5 years in boxed games to the F2P side of the industry.”
Dan Robinson, Eutechnyx

“Stand out talks for me were Nicholas Lovell’s talk on the 15 rules of F2P… Particularly relevant, with lots to take away and apply.”
Nick Adams, Blitz Game Studios

The box on the right will let UK residents buy the book from Amazon UK. If you’re in the United States, you’ll want the link to buy on Amazon.com: Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games. Customers elsewhere can find the book on their local Amazon site – here it is on Amazon.fr, and here it is on Amazon.de.

About Rob Fahey

I’ve been writing about the business of games for 17 years, and have worked on GamesIndustry.biz, Eurogamer, VG247 and British newspaper The Times, as well as making appearances on BBC News, CNN, Sky News and others to discuss the industry. I'm the co-author, with Nicholas Lovell, of two of GAMESbrief's books: Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games and The F2P Toolbox. I'm also involved in product development for GAMESbrief - books, Surgeries, Masterclasses and other ways for us to help you make the most from your game and your business.
  • http://twitter.com/Sikthehedgehog Sik

    In other words, pay now to get all the rules immediately (convenience), or wait to get them for free over time? …I smell a similitude here =P

    One thing that isn’t clear: is the on-line series the same rules as in the book? Does the book have something that will be never made available in this site? (or at least not during these series) Seems like important information for somebody who’s wondering whether to buy the book or not.

  • http://www.gamesbrief.com Nicholas Lovell

    The book has about 60% additional material to expand on and further explain the rules published on the web.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.board.12 Ben Board

    Nine hundred and sixty-seven (iPad) pages of top-drawer, been-there-done-that advice about free to play development for one pound seventy-four, a fraction more than the price of a Zynga share: ROI comparison left as an exercise for the GAMESbrief reader.

  • http://www.gamesbrief.com Nicholas Lovell

    Thank you for a lovely comment, Ben. Would it be cheeky to ask you if you fancied posting that to the Amazon review page too? (OK, I know the answer to that question, but still…)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.board.12 Ben Board

    But of course. Done, moderation permitting.