Crytek CEO says free-to-play is the future, we say it isn’t.
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If you like free-to-play games, there are more to come apparently. Free-to-play is going to be the future of the industry
I barely play free-to-play games aside from the odd game of Jetpack Joyride on Facebook (actually, I’ve only played it twice). Crytek’s CEO Cevat Yerli claims that the industry will move collectively towards the business, or at least the future of the industry lies there.
Yerli said that triple-A games like the Crysis games the studio is developing can work on PCs and consoles, but the dichotomy between digital and boxed games has to be solved. I think all-digital futures are coming, but the bandwidth has to be there. And I’m not talking about in London, New York or Paris. I’m talking about the suburbs, where people are just barely getting internet. Downloading 30GB over a connection in one day isn’t feasible for most.
Crytek even said it talked to Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo about doing a free-to-play edition of Crysis: Warface but there was no response. I don’t think the systems are built for free-to-play, purely in terms of the interface. Free-to-play is going to come in the form of an MMO, or a game that has constant online.
Retailers Standing On Fragile Ground
He added companies are built around selling physical products, unlike other companies such as Apple which have never sold – for example – games physically. Heck, I can download the next version of OS X over the internet and install it within a couple of a hours. That’s versus buying a game, waiting for it to arrive later in the week and then installing.
He also cited Apple’s retail policy, with stores focusing on the products the company offers regardless of whether third-party retailers such as Amazon sell the products. Microsoft has its own retail stores, and one is coming to the UK according to sources speaking to The Verge. Nintendo doesn’t, at least not in the UK, while Sony doesn’t offer a dedicated store either though sells plenty of music products to stores such as HMV.
But going fully digital means someone is going to be left out: retailers. As Yerli added in the interview, retailers make margins off bundling boxed games with consoles.
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