Part two of our interview recap on the future on free-to-play games and how a Skyrim F2P online game could emerge in just two years.
Yes, Skyrim would be featuring multiplayer in a roundabout way. Ben Cousins also says the F2P genre will have billion-dollar revenues
Yesterday, we reported on news that the free-to-play genre was predicted to get its version of Skyrim. With that market of the video games industry booming, I certainly think it’s possible. The second part of that interview report is today, and includes more interesting predictions from Ngmoco boss Ben Cousins.
Cousins was speaking at the Free-2-Play summit in London this week. After making his comments about Skyrim, he also said that the “market caps” in the free-to-play genres will “exceed the major players of today.” I don’t think that’s impossible, because news today of Sega cancelling titles and only focusing on its core IPs – such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Football Manager – was very surprising. The free-to-play genre will always have the advantage of allowing gamers to play for free, something MMOs don’t even compete with most of the time.
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Cousins also claimed that there are titles out now that will have “billion-dollar lifetime revenues.” Surely one of these is Angry Birds, whose creators – Rovio – reportedly turned down a $2.25 billion buyout from free-to-play company Zynga.
I’m honestly not surprised, though. The company is on record as saying they want to rival Disney, and want to be more than a game company.
Cousins said console releases will be eclipsed by earning for F2P titles, only able to sell around 20 million units with the game retailing at $60. With most economies throughout the world still feeling the pinch, and most gamers not buying three games every weeks, console developers just aren’t going to earn that kind of money.
However, he predicted that free-to-play games will have a lifetime value of “$60 with 200 million players.” He also said that free-to-play games will be on “nearly every platform” and nearly “every genre.” Every genre? I’m not sure. I think the paying up-front for games is still an attractive option, especially for indie developers who need all the money they can get.
I do think that smartphones will help the genre to flourish, though. There’s a new, free game on that platform every week.
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