40% of UK games companies believe in a F2P future, what do you think of free to play?

A UKIE research survey of UK games companies has found that more than 40% believe that free-to-play games will be an important part of the industry going forwards. GamesIndustry International report that 30% disagreed or weren't convinced by the idea. It's unclear what happened to the other 30% so let's assume they were ambivalent/eating a taco/watching a passing squirrel out of the window.

The survey hopes to gain a snapshot of the most popular business models in the industry at the moment. UKIE say that the "final report will have the full analysis of the data to see if the confidence in free to play is justified and what the confidence levels are like in other existing or emerging business models." I'd be more interested to know what the most popular business models are among gamers. Wait, that's YOU. Let's talk.

Even within the free-to-play bracket, there's a tremendous amount of variation in terms of what you pay for when, and whether the items/XP boosts you're buying are aesthetic upgrades, a boost to speed up the grind mill or objects that affect your in-game performance, like new weapons. I reckon a lack of clarity up-front around what you'll likely end up having to pay for contributes to a general mistrust of free-to-play games for some. Then there's the dreaded spectre of "pay-to-win," of course.

So, do you play free to play games? Which ones are good? Which ones suck? Are you put right off the whole idea? If so, why?

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.