I have been told by people smarter than me that free-to-play games are future, with the company behind the game riding a wave of microtransactions to caviar dinners. Who the hell am I to question these people. Even if they were caked in blood and powdered sugar, wielding a baseball bat and a smile. Fuck, they have a study to back them up!
A hefty chunk of free-to-play or “freemium” gamers have spent real dinero on their hobby of choice, according to a new report from the NPD Group. An online survey conducted by the group determined that four out of ten free-to-play gamers have made an in-game payment of some kind. Males are more likely to make such purchases, though females are more likely to have played free-to-play titles.
The report contains a few other interesting tidbits. For one, those who make an in-game payment tend to do so within the first month of playing, and those who try free-to-play titles tend to keep playing them, with 84 percent continuing to play after first trying them. Among those who abandon free-to-play titles, men aged 13 to 34 are most likely, while women in general are more likely to stay.
I don’t doubt it, though. Diablo III is going to have a real-cash Auction Hall, and if I can upgrade my Blade of Doom for $3, you can bet your ass I will. Not sure if that’s an actual free-to-play analogy, but still. I can see where they’re coming from.