The price of playing for free


Jarrett Rodriguez, Managing Editor

There you are, playing the game you’ve sunk hours into, finally ready to make it the next stage of the game.

An ad pops up, prompting you to spend more money just to keep playing.

This is the scam of free-to-play games that flood the market on phones and consoles.

These so-called “freemium” games started out as a way to get causal gamers to spend money on games they would not normally spend time on. But after the rise of “Angry Birds” and “Candy Crush” — games that have made millions from people who want to make it to the next level before they get off the toilet —  bigger game companies have adopted this microtransaction process with full force.

Companies have found a new way to maximize revenue from gamers. Playing games like “Call of Duty” or “Assassins Creed” makes this very evident, as these games offer different color options for weapons and character voices for those willing to spend money. Gamers already pay $60 on average for a game to play on console or PC. Now we have to spend even more money in order to get that cool-looking skin.

It’s not just customization available for pay; some games allow players to buy their way into the top rankings by paying to be ranked at a higher level. Competition becomes no more than a question of who has the most money to win.

The free-to-play scams saturate the market and try to get the casual gamer’s money, ruining the very purpose of games are in the process.

There have been small movements against them. However, Google Play Store has removed the name free-to-play from these games and informs people of subsequent microtransactions.

These games are becoming the new model, and it needs to stop. Gamers should be able to pay a price for a game and enjoy it in its entirety, not just a small part before an ad pops up demanding a toll to continue playing.

Gamers should refuse to spend extra money on content that should be free. Only then will developers learn that squeezing every little penny out of their customers will alienate the fan base that has made them so popular.