“Almost free-to-play” is probably pushing it, but that’s the title that Edge Magazine (via GamesRadar) decided to go with when talking about Anthem in an interview with BioWare’s Jonathan Warner and Ben Irving. Warner called F2P “an interesting business model” — picking out Marvel Heroes as an example — and says that the studio “discussed a free-to-play model early on” but that it “just wasn’t a direction that the company was moving in.”

Producer Ben Irving had more to say on the matter:

“If you go free-to-play, you still have to have a profitable business or we can’t continue to do an amazing live service for all of our amazing players. So what would you really be trading if you gave the game away for free? There’s all that money you’d have to make to be profitable. And so then you get into the territory of being less player-generous.”

He’s correct that a F2P game needs to be a bit more restrictive on how it hands things out, to encourage more player spending. To take a recent example, look at Apex Legends versus the game whose loot system it seems to draw most heavily from, Overwatch. An Apex loot pack contains three items, and, at least in my experience, one is always in the form of currency. An Overwatch loot box contains four items, one of which is sometimes currency. Apex also has more categories of things you can unlock, and more in each category, so it’s tougher to get what you want from a loot box. Apex is free and Overwatch is a paid game, so I think most people are OK with the trade-off, but it’s undeniable: Apex Legends’ loot boxes are simply less generous than Overwatch’s. I haven’t religiously followed Anthem’s development, so I can’t say what kind of loot it will be offering, and the article says that even BioWare is still finalizing some things, but Irving’s probably right in his assessment.

I’ll say one thing, though, and it’s something we’ve seen and heard many times before: Don’t diss free-to-play by saying it’s worse — in this case “less player-generous” — than the paid system you’ll be using. The reason for those statements is a justification for asking gamers to pay for your game instead of getting it for free. It’s fine to have your game be non-F2P, but if your reasoning is less about how much your game is worth it and more about how bad F2P is, and you ever do need to go F2P, you’re then basically admitting that your game will be worse for it. I don’t know if Anthem will ever go that route, but I’ll be bookmarking these quotes, just in case.

6 COMMENTS

  1. So not only do you have to pay for AAA title but they have pay to win item mall… SO ya once they see the game isn’t getting people it will go free to play to scam those early idiots of their money. Then when that happens I still wont play it because its still garbage.

  2. My hype train crashed when i seen vip demo gameplay. Its extremely similar to Destiny 2. Microtransactions not just for cosmetics.
    Full game price DLC with extra 100 lvl – just like in Destiny2, if u dont buy dlc u will fail in PVP.
    Its clearly something not good when AAA game have discussions about being F2P before release.

    Im gonna pass on this one.

  3. Big hype for a game that ppl dont know much about and still wont be better then destiny ore warframe so why bother ? and fact that Anthem got 6 dificult lv of game play tells me its one short game to play! when lv 30 is max.. and pay wall for cosmetics gona be hevy.. i wait with this game till more reviews comes out.

  4. big hype for a game that ppl dont know much about and still wont be better then destiny ore warframe so why bother ? and fact that Anthem got 6 dificult lv of game play tells me its one short game to play! when lv 30 is max.. and pay wall for cosmetics gona be hevy.. i wait with this game till more reviews comes out.

  5. To be honest its become all too greedy,
    I do think even if a game does not go f2p it shouldn’t become a greed fest by asking for more money box’s. Wow has a shop and to me that’s pure greed they already have the subscriber base and that should be way more profitable for them but they turned to greed.
    F2P actually isn’t greedy as what you put up forsale is a sale, I feel i need to give these devs some money for my time here and so there profit made in f2p isn’t greed.
    But any other game dev company that has a buy to play or subscription based game should not become to greedy by opening more shops and paid loot box’s, as the game should be able to be run by itself through the profits made through its sales of the game.
    Game devs become way to greedy today the more they get the more they want.
    Star citizen is one of the most GREEDY game devloper EVER!! as its still asking for money for data models and its still hasn’t finsihed its game. I remember them saying they only needed 300,000 or thereabouts to get a working game going. Now they are heading towards 200 million. They will fail if they ever release it.
    What this all does show is there are way to many idiots out there pushing buttons and not thinking about where their money is going as its only digital. The devs have seen this are going hell for leather to get all this free money that these digital consumers are just clicking away.
    CASH is real and you can handle and account for it far easier.
    Digital is invisible, button excuted and blindly misled, until you see the bills or balance gone.
    end of story

  6. Yawn* Rip gaming, mundane garbage everywhere. Just a matter of time till they close or until the meta dies. I wonder what meta comes after BR modes and Destiny clones. I’m really hoping it’s Bankruptcy for the entire market.

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