War Thunder Dev: Free-to-Play Has to Be Better to Succeed on Consoles

| 4 Dec 2013 21:10
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Gaijin Entertainment's CEO Anton Yudinstev believes gamers won't see free-to-play developers as "greedy bastards."

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One both released last month, emptying the wallets of gamers everywhere and launching the latest round of console competition in earnest. That being the case, this new generation of hardware could, for many gamers, serve as a platform for the full-fledged introduction of a market force that's long since crept its way into prominence on PCs: the free-to-play game.

While there have been free-to-play titles on consoles in the past, they have never been as widespread as on PCs where you can't toss a proverbial stone without knocking into some sort of game promising endless entertainment without a penny spent. That being the case, both the PS4 and Xbox One already, or will soon, boast big name free-to-play games including DC Universe Online, Blacklight: Retribution, War Thunder and World of Tanks among others.

The big question that arises from this new free-to-play proliferation is whether or not console gamers will embrace it. "Console gamers are more used to the concept of buying games, premium games," said Anton Yudinstev, CEO of War Thunder-creators Gaijin Entertainment. "But one of the reasons for that is that there haven't been enough [free-to-play] games at a console level of quality." Yudinstev believes that the high quality of the current wave of free-to-play games, War Thunder obviously included, may have what it takes to attract console gamers to unpaid experiences.

That said, games like War Thunder could also potentially face some resistance from console gamers thanks in part to the negative impressions many have for things like micro-transactions, a mainstay of free-to-play profits. The difference, according to Yudinstev, may lie in the up front price tag. While Xbox One owners might rage over micro-transaction schemes in a premium title like Forza 5, he can't envision gamers getting as upset over being asked to pay for content in a game they received for free. "We're not the greedy bastards," he said. Only time will tell if console fans see it the same way.

Source: GamesIndustry International

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