EA, Cryptic, Riot discuss "dead" subscription models, free-to-play's influence

Omri Petitte at

GamesIndustry sat down with members of various studios for a lengthy exploration into the industry's shifting perception of freemium game development, the climbing popularity of free-to-play MMO subscription models, and the shaky balancing act between "money-grabs" and quality free ventures. EA (Battlefield Play4Free), Cryptic Studios (Star Trek Online), Riot Games (League of Legends), and 22 Cans (Curiosity) shared their thoughts on the steady-yet-rocky proliferation of free content.

PopCap killing off Baking Life, not offering refunds or exchanges for customers' money

Owen Hill at

Are you one of the 100,000 daily users who enjoy creating recipes, baking goods, hiring your friends, and serving customers each day?

Probably not, but that's not the point. PopCap are closing down Baking Life at the end of January, and any "Zip Cash" bought with real-life money will be erased from existence.

I've never baked a virtual cake via the Baking Life app, but that PopCap aren't offering any exchange or refund option sets an ugly precedent for the value of microtransactions and gamer's rights. As pointed out in the screenshot below, PopCap seem keen to redirect players to alternative Facebook titles, but don't seem so keen on converting player's funds.

FarmVille developer worth '$10billion'

Matt Purslow at

Zynga - the developer behind Facebook phenomenon FarmVille - is worth close to $10billion according to recent investment discussions.

In an article over at The New York Times, the casual social game developer is said to attract 275 million users to it's titles, which also includes CityVille. Such figures make it one of the major contributors to Facebook's revenue stream.

What do you make of this? Do you think this a triumph worth celebrating, or do you believe - like Jonathan Blow - that social games are 'evil'? Discuss in the comments!

[via CVG]