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The Value of Freeloaders

By on July 2, 2019

Freeloaders are valuable to your game. Embrace them; don’t kick them out. Here is a list of just some of the value that they provide. You can find out more in other books I have written, including The F2P Toolbox and The Curve (as well as the book this extract comes from: The Pyramid).

“Free means free” card from the F2P Toolbox


They are the opponents in a game with matchmaking. They provide unpredictability in a multiplayer game. They are part of your content.

Future conversion

You never know when someone will be in the right emotional or financial state to spend money. The longer they stay in your game and the more they enjoy it, the more opportunity you have to convert them to payers.


People who enjoy your game tell their friends. They improve the chart position of your game. They help you get new customers more cheaply.


F2P games generate an increasing proportion of their revenue from ads.

Social context

Players enjoy games more when they offer relatedness, the component of Self-Determination Theory (SDT) that relates to connections with other humans. They also choose to spend time, money and effort on self-expression and demonstrating their prowess when other humans can see them. Freeloaders can make your game more fun AND more financially successful.

This is an extract from Nicholas’s new book, The Pyramid of Game Design – get your copy here!

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: