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I can happily say that I've given up on free to play games. The vast majority of free to play games out there are fundamentally flawed. At their core they weren't designed to be fun to play, they were designed to milk the player of money, or pester them until they give in and pay or give up and quit.

Sure, there might be a few free to play games out there that break this mold, but I'm at a point in my life where money is expendable but time isn't. I'd much rather spend money up front to play a game that has a good chance at being designed for fun than waste time trying to find a diamond in the free to play rough.

I believe there will always be a place for paid games, but if the market shift towards free to play continues I'll have no problem giving up video games entirely. Will the 'AAA' free to play games like Hawken, Mech Warrior Online, or Planetside 2 be fun to play? Perhaps, but I'll never find out.

Well you're pretty obviously on the extreme end of the spectrum.

Personally I don't play many F2P games and am much more 'core than the center of the market as well. Probably 95% of my gaming time goes to console games and I prefer the biggest budget, most polished titles available (just finished my second character in Borderlands 2). And yes I pay for them up front (and have them delivered by messenger to my home the day they launch, which absolutely makes my day every couple of months).

But as someone trying to build a profitable games company it seems suicidal at this point to not at least attempt to make some form of F2P work with my other design goals. Does that mean I'm going to make shitty games? I don't plan on it. I can say that designing a compelling in-game economy (that can be monetized) is without a doubt the most challenging part of design for me.

You can do what Zynga has done and build games from their monetization outward, but I don't think that's the only way to do it. I hope to do a lot better and I'm sure other companies have or will as well. Don't forget that the F2P model that is now so reviled (by people like you) is relatively new (freemium is not of course) so I think it's a little premature to say that all F2P titles will suck, forever and ever.

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