30 Percent of Gamers Never Pay to Play

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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30 Percent of Gamers Never Pay to Play


A new report claims that 30 percent of "active gamers" never pay for their games, relying instead on free games and demos to keep their habit fed.

It's a generally-accepted fact that a good gaming habit is an expensive beast but according to a report by analysis firm Mafia Wars [http://www.newzoo.com/] are obviously a big part of that market segment but console game demos and free iPhone releases also figure prominently. The "free gaming boom" began in the wake of the global recession but appears to be holding strong despite the gradual return of economic stability.

Money is still being made, of course, through the purchase of gaming hardware, online subscriptions and advertising support; it's also possible (and even likely) that some "free gamers" take advantage of microtransaction options available in many online games today. "Free" can actually be a very lucrative pricing model for mainstream and casual game studios alike: 500 percent [http://www.zynga.com/] since the game transitioned from conventional subscriptions to a free-to-play model.

Source: MCV [http://www.mcvuk.com/news/39042/Only-23-of-gamers-pay-to-play]


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Jared

The British Paladin
Jul 14, 2009
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Well, I think that could certainly be accurate if you take the sheer amount of people who play Farmville, and such...and nothing else.

I would be more intrested in seeing figures for "proper" games though.
 

Abedeus

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Sep 14, 2008
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Or we just pay once, then play the same game over and over.

Thank God for online multiplayer. Or hot seats before that (World Armageddon, Heroes of Might and Magic II/III).
 

AngryMongoose

Elite Member
Jan 18, 2010
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Been there, done that, never again....

Stupid computer broke over the freaking summer holidays. Between secondary school and sixth form, so i literally had no homeworks.
 

JEBWrench

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Apr 23, 2009
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Jaredin said:
Well, I think that could certainly be accurate if you take the sheer amount of people who play Farmville, and such...and nothing else.

I would be more intrested in seeing figures for "proper" games though.
Why should the most popular game in the world be removed from a study of gaming?

As for "a proper game":

"Turbine reported that revenues for Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited had jumped 500 percent since the game transitioned from conventional subscriptions to a free-to-play model."
 

Jack and Calumon

Digimon are cool.
Dec 29, 2008
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Can you really call getting a game off the internet as free? I mean, you ARE paying for the internet.

Calumon: PARADOX!
 

Therumancer

Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
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JEBWrench said:
Jaredin said:
Well, I think that could certainly be accurate if you take the sheer amount of people who play Farmville, and such...and nothing else.

I would be more intrested in seeing figures for "proper" games though.
Why should the most popular game in the world be removed from a study of gaming?

As for "a proper game":

"Turbine reported that revenues for Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited had jumped 500 percent since the game transitioned from conventional subscriptions to a free-to-play model."
Well, I'd make an arguement that things like windows "Solitaire" program are generally excluded from serious studies of gaming. I see games like Farmville being in a similar vein.

I mean technically, if you were to take Windows Solitaire and argue about it seriously, you could probably say it's the best selling and most played game in the world... selling because while "free" it's part of Windows and/or game programs which cost money (typically included in the price of your PC), what's more it's been around for generations of PCs.

Making cases to lionize Farmville strikes me as trying to claim that Windows Solitaire is the Alpha and Omega of gaming.
 

Dracovec

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Apr 28, 2010
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man i hate this casual gaming crap that litters all pathways now....kinda makes me wanna puke
also i love rpgs but this mmo fad going through is a grinding,money making death trap
a rehash of "real" games would be nice for a change
 

rembrandtqeinstein

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Sep 4, 2009
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When I was a wee lad I had no money or job and my parents were tightwads so I had to content myself with shareware. Now there is such a huge variety of gaming opportunity I can't imagine anyone feeling the need to pay unless they want to.

Allods is just as good an MMO as World of Warcraft (better art in my opinion) but totally free:

http://www.allods.com/

I would have never tried DDO unless it was free and I ended up spending ~$150 since august which is the same as 10 months of at $15 subscription.

I paid $20 for the Humble Indie Bundle which was more than most and that will be enough gameplay for about a year.
 

Asehujiko

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Feb 25, 2008
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rembrandtqeinstein said:
When I was a wee lad I had no money or job and my parents were tightwads so I had to content myself with shareware. Now there is such a huge variety of gaming opportunity I can't imagine anyone feeling the need to pay unless they want to.

Allods is just as good an MMO as World of Warcraft (better art in my opinion) but totally free:

http://www.allods.com/
Better art? How does copy pasting improve it?
 

NeedAUserName

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Aug 7, 2008
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I really don't see how that's possible, I mean thats like trying to support a heroin addict on Paracetamol and Tic Tacs, sure it might due for a day, but you must need some kind of substance.
 

Zhukov

The Laughing Arsehole
Dec 29, 2009
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Straying Bullet said:
It's no lie, some 'gamers' do feed on this kind of behaviour. Personally I find it rather pathetic, especially the business model behind it that encourages this kind of behaviour.
Wait... people who play free games are pathetic? Pathetic enough to merit bold text?

Care to elaborate on that one?
 

boholikeu

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Aug 18, 2008
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Therumancer said:
Well, I'd make an arguement that things like windows "Solitaire" program are generally excluded from serious studies of gaming. I see games like Farmville being in a similar vein.

I mean technically, if you were to take Windows Solitaire and argue about it seriously, you could probably say it's the best selling and most played game in the world... selling because while "free" it's part of Windows and/or game programs which cost money (typically included in the price of your PC), what's more it's been around for generations of PCs.

Making cases to lionize Farmville strikes me as trying to claim that Windows Solitaire is the Alpha and Omega of gaming.
I don't know what kind of "serious studies" you're reading, but I see free games like farmville and second life pop up quite often in academic papers and reports.