F2P video games are offering new and creative ways to play that many PC consumers have adopted. However, that audience has grown with the release of the PlayStation 4. At launch, the console offered popular titles such as Warframe, DC Universe Online, Blacklight: Retribution, and War Thunder in European markets. The PlayStation 4 went on to become the most financially successful 8th generation console selling 4.2 million units: Despite having the smallest library compared to its competition. Xsolla takes a look at how F2P games have benefited the console at launch, and how they can continue to improve in the future.
While Sony may not have had the largest library of games, it did have the most value in its purchase. Starting off at $399, $100 cheaper than the Xbox One, the console is essentially ready to play outside of the box. Consumers only had to invest money in the PlayStation Plus service to instantly have a game library of 4-5 games (This includes the free game that comes with PlayStation Plus.) This is a big advantage the console has over it’s competition, and it’s mostly due to F2P games. While the games may technically require a subscription to the online service, the F2P titles do not cost anything outside of optional micro transactions. Sony and multiple F2P developers have also come up with ways to make up for the price of PlayStation Plus by offering free content it’s subscribers.
Warframe offered premium in game content for free to welcome their new console audience. DC Universe Online also rewarded PlayStation Plus subscribers by offering premium DLC for free. This gives a certain edge to the console audience that balances out the experience. On one hand, PC consumers don’t have to pay anything to begin playing: On the other, PS4 consumers get extra content to give more incentive to start playing. The F2P games have used this to inspire gamers to try out their online games, which has also increased the PlayStation 4’s community.
The PS4 was built to promote socialization among consumers, which is something that most F2P games offer. These games offer cooperative or competitive gameplay, and have created large communities that continue to support the product. Through streaming services provided by the PS4, F2P are also able to be easily streamed and advertised on the console. Many F2P developers have already noticed this, and more big name games will be heading to the console. Everquest Next, Planetside 2, Deep Down, and more titles are already planned to release on the next generation console. In addition, Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls: Online mmo will also be making a debut on the console, and won’t require a PlayStation Plus subscription. Cross Play between PS4 and PC is also coming to these titles, and although it is uncertain which title will hit first, it is bound to increase socialization and profits between the two audiences.
“F2P-model perfectly suites for monetization of the games in which social interaction among gamers can play the key role, that is why the development of F2P-projects on the basis of next gen consoles can be taken as a natural evolution process. Sony promotes such a model for PS4. It is difficult to judge if F2P games can easily spread to the console market, but even now this process is surely not possible to be stopped.Having colossal experience in collaboration with online games field projects for PC such companies as xsolla can contribute a lot to the sphere of F2P-games for console market.” said Xsolla analytic Maksim Fedurin when asked about the future of F2P games on consoles.
The PS4 has successfully brought the F2P games to a new audience. By smartly implementing it’s premium service with the games, many console gamers are finding a new online addiction to enjoy on the console. Xsolla expects more successful titles to hit the console and sees how it’s benefits can improve the market overall.