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Moving on from Free-to-play

By on January 13, 2012

In 2012, GAMESbrief will move on from arguing about whether free-to-play works to how to make free-to-play work.

As I wrote in my last Gamasutra column of 2011, freemium has won and it’s time to move on. Even if you don’t believe free-to-play will take over all aspects of gaming, it’s hard to argue that it doesn’t work, isn’t profitable or doesn’t make games the players love.

So in 2012, I am going to be much less strident about the value of the business model and much more focused on the how-to.

  • How to  keep customers in your game to extend life-time value
  • How to make offer players things that they value to increase their spend
  • How to cross-promote and acquire customers more cheaply.

This is all the context of my ARM Yourself framework (Acquisition – Retention – Monetisation) and the free-to-play spreadsheet that I have already published for free.

Importantly, I will also try to talk more about fun in games. Metrics-led design has value, but without fun, there is no game.

So here’s to more fun in 2012.

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: