Peter Molyneux Wants More Developers to Make Free-to-Play Games
Fable creator and industry veteran Peter Molyneux wants more developers to start making free-to-play games because, if they do, the model might lose its stigma. Right now, the free-to-play sector has been held hostage by match-three and casino games, he says, but this could change if "true" game designers started making free-to-play titles.
"I think that if more and more designers get into free-to-play then free-to-play will just get better and better," Molyneux told Game Informer. "But at the moment, there aren't many true game designers getting into free-to-play, so free-to-play is getting crafted by match-three games and slots and casino games, and those types of games have held free-to-play to ransom. I'd love more designers from all walks of life to try free-to-play games, so we could make free-to-play brilliant."
"The game industry should love free-to-play" -- Molyneux
Though the free-to-play model has been criticized for the way some games handle monetization, Molyneux said the business model--when executed fairly--should be adored by gamers because it gives them the wonderful freedom to try before they buy and never get stuck paying for a bad game.
"The game industry should love free-to-play," he said. "What gamers need to do is persuade designers to go make free-to-play games. But a lot of gamers say that if you're doing that then you're not really making games."
Molyneux and his indie studio, 22 Cans, recently released Godus, a free-to-play game for iOS. The reaction to the game's business model, from some people, has been overwhelmingly negative, to the point of Molyneux even receiving death threats.
"I've had people say, 'I'm going to burn all the games you own now.' I've had people say, 'You're a hypocrite.' I've actually had death threats over this," he said. "That doesn't make sense. Gamers should want fair free-to-play, and the only way to get fair free-to-play is to get more designers to love free-to-play. As a gamer we should say, 'If Call of Duty were free-to-play, it would be a better game.'"
In fact, Call of Duty Online in China is a free-to-play game. But it remains to be seen if this version is "better" than the standard, $60 yearly installments.
Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch