In a week that saw Sony Online Entertainment bring microtransactions
to EverQuest and EverQuest II
and a persistent rumor
that Star Wars: The Old Republic
will also use microtransactions, Danny "Ralsu" Gourley couldn't help
but notice some old stereotypes about the revenue system popping up in
the Ten Ton Hammer forums. Ralsu thinks part of the problem is that
many companies developing or publishing free-to-play games use
microtransactions and the business model so far has been to flood the
It seems that the climate of the F2P arena pushes companies toward making or publishing multiple games so fans can play a new game every day. I think of their process being like underwear with the days of the week written on the tags: safe, comfortable, and not too flashy.
What would happen if a company focused on making just one high-quality game at a time? Would that earn a little respect for microtransactions and F2P games? Read "Zerging the Market" to find out Ralsu's answer.