Another free-to-play success story: the userbase of Hi-Res Studios MMO Global Agenda has grown five fold since the developer shifted to the freemium model.
On top of that, according to COO Todd Harris, revenues generated “are higher than they ever have been before.”
“We recently shifted it in the past quarter to free to play and we’ve only seen great things out of that decision,” Harris tells PC Gamer. “We have many many more people creating accounts every day, many more people playing concurrently, our revenues are higher than they ever have been before which means we can develop content and put it into the game faster than ever before.”
No wonder the studio’s upcoming multiplayer shooter Tribes: Ascend will be following suit, then.
“Philosophically, I probably wouldn’t have said this two years ago because I maybe had more a negative bias about free to play,” Harris adds. “The way we look at it it lets us succeed based on the strength of the gameplay more than marketing and that probably to me is the biggest advertisement for it.”
Following the recent F2P moves by Valve’s Team Fortress 2 and Funcom’s Age of Conan, Harris reckons we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg. “I think more and more will,” Harris said when asked there’ll be more F2P games coming, “you never say never.”
“For some blockbuster, very well-known brands, there’s still a $60 single price entry fee even if there’s microtransactions after that, because they just can command it, because they do have that market awareness, but I do think it’s clearly the direction of gaming.”