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Are free-to-play games at the second stage of Truth?

By on October 11, 2011

German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer posited “Three stages of Truth” *

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

It seems to me that free-to-play games are at stage two.

File:Arthur Schopenhauer Portrait by Ludwig Sigismund Ruhl 1815.jpeg
  • Initially, they were laughed at. “They can’t possibly work?” “How can you make more money with free than by charging a subscription or upfront free?” “You can’t make a decent game on iPhone if you can’t charge $9.99 on it”
  • Now they are being violently opposed: “Free to play games are evil”. “Free to play games are unethical.” “Free to play games will destroy the game industry”. “Free to play games aren’t even proper games”.

How long before the truth – that free-to-play is not only here to stay, but likely to become the dominant business model for games – becomes self-evident?


* According to Wikiquotes, whether it was Schopenhauer who said this remains disputed

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: