Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Free or Not? (part 2)
Making a product free has its risks, but often the benefits seem to outweigh these risks. One risk, however, is that adopters might scoff in indignation when that same company turns around and starts charging for some of their products. The gaming community has seen this practice for years, and the reception has been mixed. Often, game companies will put out free games that are gutted versions of a fuller, more robust experience. To gain access to the larger experience, players will have to purchase something. Many games are offered free with many smaller upgrades available—this practice is known as “micro-transactions.” Download the game, play it for a while and if you decide you like it, it's up to you how much you want to spend. It doesn't sound like a bad model from the outside, but many gamers fervently resent this approach. They'd rather an entire, completed game be released instead of a partial experience. Yet the company marketing gurus argue that this model makes more money for the company than a full release would have—the free offering at the beginning gets many more interested and addicted to the game.