Free-to-play lets them play free of charge for as long as they want, with no "online pass" interference, DLC and other pressures. Mobile is the "next big model" for the industry.
"Nobody talks about how bad it is to charge somebody $70 for something they don't like," said CEO Leydon. "You can't know what you're getting because it's another sequel with $100 million of marketing."
"One day after Call of Duty is out the used section in GameStop is filled with them. You have an army of consumers who paid $70 and lost $40 by trading it in." Free-to-play eliminates that risk, he argues, letting you experience a game without being out of pocket and regretting a heavy purchase. Online passes reduce trade-in values.
"It removes the risk from the consumer, the consumer pays nothing to try out the game."
"I want the consumer to play for months without paying. Good free to play encourages players to stay and that's where the longevity is because the risk of an online pass, consoles that can't play used games, DLC and all this stuff, after I've paid $70... Why would do I do that? I can play lots of great games that are free." he continued.
"The risk is being transferred from the consumer to the developer. The developer has all of the risk now so they end up doing crazy stuff because it's a new industry." Unfortunately the free-to-play market is plagued by shovelware titles which put off gamers from trying out others. "It's brutal. The model for acquiring users is insanely complicated," he said.
"We've been doing this for three years and it keeps changing, it's very hard. It can be profitable but we can also throw money down a black hole. Most of our players don't play a second session. But the rest stay and play and if they stay long enough they end up playing and we can run a business."
Do your dip your gaming toe in free-to-play waters?