Ethics and Free-to-Play

In principle there is nothing wrong with F2P. Offering something up for free and allowing people to purchase “added value” after they’ve established whether they like the experience is commendable.

However as the industry seems to be drifting towards F2P as the business model of choice, we (as developers) need to be clear on the pitfalls of the model. If we are not already designing a F2P game we are likely to be very soon. When we do it is important that we are armed with knowledge and tools in order to capitalise ethically on the model.

None of us want an exploitative game on our conscience or CV. None of us want to be called “crack-dealer”. None of us wants to have created a game brought up as an example of a “Skinner’s box”. No-one wants an article in the Daily Mail talking about little Johnny and his mother’s credit card (only avoiding the word “whale” because they don’t know it).

This post is not intended to be an exhaustive list of the pitfalls. It is merely my attempt to get my thoughts on the subject in order.

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