Annoying “Freemium” Games

I like playing free Internet Flash games.  For mainstream commercial games, there’s a 20+ person development team.  That means the authors can’t take creative risks.  Most Flash games have a 1 person development team.  You see more originality.

In the era of “classic” computer games, most games were written by one person, leading to much originality.  With Flash games, I see more variety.

However, there’s a disturbing trend.  It’s “freemium” games.  For “freemium” games, you can play for free.  However, you can pay cash for extra items, giving you an unfair advantage.

Either you pay extra money, or your character is weaker, or you have to spend a lot of time grinding for items and levels.

There’s only one “freemium” game I bought.  That was “Gemcraft Labyrinth”.  It was worth the $5.  However, that author only got my purchase because he had previously published two excellent completely free games.  I’m probably going to buy the next version when it comes out “Gemcraft 2 Chasing Shadows”.

There are some great free flash games, if you know where to look.  I’m offended by “freemium” games, where you have to pay for extra items to get a decent character.  I’m noticing more and more games like that.  However, there’s one easy solution.  I can refuse to play them.


3 Responses to Annoying “Freemium” Games

  1. The Freemium model is an alternative model that certainly doesn’t feel awesome for buyers, but it’s not used for making the buyer feel great about the product. And obviously you find the model annoying. It’s more about providing a standard renewable income stream for the developer. There is no problem with that if you or others consider the model from a developer’s perspective, and consider the developer might want to earn some money from their work, even if it’s small. It’s a fine line to walk in that business model without becoming annoying.

    • You can only get away with freemium if you already have a track record of producing great games. When I see a “free” game has premium content, I usually move on to other things.

      It’s really silly to pay real money for in-game items, as many freemium games do. Some freemium games are not beatable unless you purchase premium content.

      The best way is to add extra levels or extra game modes as the premium content. That’s what Gemcraft Labyrinth does, the only freemium game I ever purchased.

      On your blog, I liked this post. If your employer is truly incompetent, it can be more trouble than it’s worth. An employer must have a certain level of skill, to appreciate when they’re getting good work.

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