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Game Development never ends: Free to play design rule 15

By on November 14, 2012

F2P-design-rules-thumbA game is never done. The hardest part of making a free-to-play game is finding an engaged audience for your experience. Once you have got those customers, keep offering them more. Use metrics, creative leaps, intuition and good old-fashioned listening to keep them playing, sharing and spending.

All games will eventually come to an end. Even World of Warcraft’s servers will be switched off one day. Zynga has retired many games which no longer have enough customers to justify the maintenance costs. In the meantime, give your players hours of enjoyment and great experiences. They will thank you by coming back to play, by telling their friends and by giving you money.

Which is what all game creators want, right?

This post concludes the free-to-play design rules series. Now read the rest and buy the book!

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve:


  1. Pingback: Deceptive Monetization Models of F2P Games Part 1 | Beastly

  2. TACK PO at Unity Studios

    November 23, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Good one… go out with a bang and fireworks to be remembered by and it will benefit you in terms of PR for your next game.
    Yes please do you have examples ?

  3. Zoya Street

    November 19, 2012 at 7:51 am

    I love this idea! Do you have any examples of games that sunsetted well?

  4. Carlo Delallana

    November 15, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Game sunsets tend to be very anti-climactic. While the goal is to maintain the game for as long as you possibly can, F2P developers need to have a sunset plan. At that point, when all you have left are your super-fans, the last thing you should do is just say “goodbye” and hope to redirect them to another game.

    Make your sunsets glorious, make them grand, make them something to remember…much like the sunset I saw up on Mt. Haleakala on the island of Maui.

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