What do developers get out of cheap or free games on PSN (or XBLA)?
|Free game, ladies and germs!|
After that, I did a bit of research. Similarly to above method is the free to play model, where the devs give you all or most of the game, and the studio makes its money off microtransactions and/or expansions. Blizzard's MOBA, Heroes of the Storm is a perfect model of this, and is still releasing both free and paid content and updates 3 years later. A great example for PS4 is the puzzle game Gems of War. I played it for over half a year, so an added bonus is that I got to see it evolve with massive overhauls and updates, while the game remained free. I really like the idea of this scheme, but it gets abused too often. For example, the basic version of a particular game is extremely crippled to the point of being frustrating. Lots of mobile games follow this toxic pattern, where you can basically play 30 minutes per day, or you can only build your town to a certain size until you slowly gather resources or spend time to speed the process. Give me a fully-functional game, and I'll judge your programming prowess from there!
The last obvious case for some of these deals is that the games are old, and it's a last hurrah for revenue. Through minimal effort, Capcom can get another $5 for Resident Evil V, or the 2 remaining people on planet earth who haven't done so can nab Final Fantasy VII for dat $7.49 PSN flash sale.
|Lookout for these bad boys|
However, just cause these games are free doesn't mean the hardworking devs don't get their duck's butter. Kris Graft at Gamasutra found that each game is negotiated with The Big Three and some devs actually get some cash for their efforts.
So, there we are. While you could all easily argue that the PS+ and XBLA games aren't truly free since you're paying for the subscription, I guess you could call me phony. Well, both Heroes of the Storm and Gems of War are Free without need to register anything, so getchu started on that, and let me know if you find some other awesome free titles out there! I'm itching to write about how productive my January was, but that will be in the next post, mein freunds!