Free-to-play has changed how many companies approach releasing games and their business in general. To Gree U.K.’s head of EMEA developer relations David McCarthy, he thinks the model is now proven.
“It requires a very, very different mindset and business model to conventional boxed product gaming. The decision on whether to go free-to-play, certainly on mobile, is dead,” said McCarthy. “There’s no argument – free-to-play is the model that the industry is moving towards. If you look at the [games in the] top grossing charts the vast majority of them are free-to-play, and it’s very few people who can make pay-per-download work as well for them as free-to-play in the mobile space.”
“I think that’s going to have consequences for the boxed product business as well. Companies like Konami and Capcom are now deriving a huge amount of revenue from these kind of games and I think that the things that they learn in this space are going to affect the way that they make conventional games in the future as well.”
“A lot of developers are really hamstrung by this project finance-based model where as soon as they finish one project they are scrabbling around competing with a ton of other studios, mostly talking to publishers asking for money,” McCarthy said. “If someone’s coming looking for money, publishers are the least likely people to give it to them. Social games give you a lot more control over your revenue streams. You can release a product, adapt the content, generate new content over the lifecycle of the game in reaction to the way users are playing it.”
Gree’s claims to have over 250 million users on its network, with the stated goal to build a user base of over 1 billion players worldwide. Find out more about Gree in this video interview.