Play for Free trend (not free-to-play)

Discussion in 'PC Games' started by power, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. power

    power Member

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    So has anyone else noticed that Play for Free is becoming quite a big thing now?

    Also, do we think that game companies are actually getting sales from this? (they must be right?).

    I mean right now Dishonoured is PFF until Sunday, now let's say you are what 1 of the 1000 peeps who are interested in this game and haven't bought it yet or pirated it.

    Borderlands 2 is also PFF this weekend too, so you could play all weekend for nicks.

    You get 3 frickin' days to play it for nicks, it's not even that hard to complete Dishonoured over a good 2 or 3 sittings so where's the incentive to buy at the end? Would you say buy it to then buy the DLC or something else like that?

    Anyway just wanted to throw it out there and see what people think, I think it's weird.
     
  2. Bertross

    Bertross Member

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    yeah its pretty weird, I'm not sure if its a cryout for numbers or just a thing companies do now.

    I see them on steam all the time but in most cases i already had the game.

    EA somehow lets people to play BF4 for 168 hours. Seems like a fair chunk of game time.
     
  3. purehybrid

    purehybrid Member

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    You may or may not care... but I think the word you're looking for is "nix".
     
  4. holdennutta

    holdennutta Member

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    I played Titanfall over their free play weekend when that happened. Played a good wack of time and then thought yeah that was fun but I don't really want to play much more. So I didn't buy it.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    power

    power Member

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    yeah games like that it's really like the demo is alive and well - unfortunately it's well after release so not quite the same.
     
  6. whatdoesthisdo

    whatdoesthisdo Member

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    Yeah seems weird to being doing with games that can be completed in said amount of time. But for games like Insurgency which had a free weekend recently I know 2 of my mates bought it after playing it.
     
  7. T-Bones

    T-Bones Member

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    Multiplayer only games available for a short period of time to play free makes sense (try before you buy) but the only reason a single player game normally being offered free for any period of time would be to promote the imminent release of the next game in the series.
     
  8. Bertross

    Bertross Member

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    I'm sure at the time of the free weekend they get a lot of data that may result in a few internal decisions.

    Like revising their price and seeing how many people were actual intended to buy it but maybe didn't want to fork out for it at full price etc...

    so form a marketing perspective it makes sense.
     
  9. Fortigurn

    Fortigurn Member

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    I think it's a good idea for certain games. Sure you could complete Dishonored in a weekend (though I took 100 hours to complete it and all the DLC), but the game has a lot of replay value and the initial play should stimulate interest in exploring the other play styles,.

    As for Borderlands 2, good luck finishing that in a weekend, unless you don't sleep. I think that's a game which benefits from PFF since a weekend gives you plenty of time to get addicted. :thumbup:
     
  10. Rubberband

    Rubberband Member

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    It's building interest for sequels I think.
     
  11. mtma

    mtma Member

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    For single player, it's a way of generating interest in the series. Games like borderlands 2 may make money off direct sales (and DLC), but shorter games would be either replayability or sequels.

    For multilayer, there are definitely direct sales, and also for quieter games (NS2 and Insurgency 2 are probably in this category, although I cannot say for sure) a well timed free play weekend can inject life into a wiltering community.
     
  12. Life_Essence

    Life_Essence Member

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    (You might take not that they aren't new releases)

    It doesn't always quite work as intended though. Killing Floor is a good example. That had a Play for Free week(end?) and long while back and it was impossible to find a game in it, level 0's were filling up EVERY server including Suicidal/Hell on Earth servers. The problem with that is either they die all the time and/or the whole squad gets wiped way too prematurely and they really don't get a feel for the game as they don't get past wave 2.

    Killing Floor is a bit of an extreme case but on the same note any multiplayer game that is inundated with hordes of new players (some of which really don't have any interest I'm afraid to say) is radically different to playing on what would normally be a server with a range of different skill levels on it, mostly middle of the road, a couple of really good players and a couple of new players.

    Don't get me wrong, I still think it's a great idea and it does work somewhat, even for single player games, but I don't think it works quite as intended.
     
  13. FiShy

    FiShy Member

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    Mount and blades one was amazing, 100+ people on servers and most of them total noobs and easy fodder. They did well out that as the amount of people playing after the free weekend was huge.
     
  14. dogthinker

    dogthinker Member

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    Also, while it's quite easy to dump 10 or 20 hours into a good single player game in a single weekend, I suspect (no evidence) that the majority of gamers probably have a bit less time to spend gaming than that.

    Imagine if you played Dishonoured for say, 4 hours over a weekend, rather than 24... If you liked it, you'd probably consider buying in.

    I know there's been a few single player games on free weekends that I've downloaded, then found myself with not more than an hour or so to spare to try them out (which is why I usually ignore free weekends now ;) )
     
  15. mtma

    mtma Member

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    As always you get cases where it wasn't planned out and just some order from marketing about 'lets do this to this game', and other cases where the strategy was planned properly. From observation on the outside I'm guessing the reality is that the former prevails for various reasons though.

    But it can go the other way - a lot of multiplayer games build eventually end up with an elite group which keeps raising the gap between the 'casual players', but due to the game design results in the this group being able to make the rest of the players not enjoy the game (take for example quakeworld, which was something like that - if you had one or two experienced players they could lock out the key items on an entire map and the newbies would be forever clueless fodder. If anyone wonders why 'Quake' fell out of vogue, the answer is that the matured game play has low accessibility for new players).

    The free weekend might not be representative of how the game is played now, but it is representative to the new group of what captivated the original wave of players to the game to begin with - which translates to sales.

    Of course it does go back to game design though. It makes sense for cases where the developer has done major updates to remedy issues that are causing the community to decline (a most extreme case is probably something like the FFXIV which was effectively re-made and re-launched, although they didn't do a 'free weekend' but a beta period - effectually it was kind of similar though).
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2014
  16. Leigh M

    Leigh M Member

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    Doesn't bother me, If I want a game I will buy it, I am picky so I don't really care about trying these free weekend games.
     
  17. LINUX

    LINUX Member

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    A similar thing happened with Chivalry free weekends, they've since introduced level restricted servers so the noobs don't get thrashed on the free weekends.
     
  18. walker_2003

    walker_2003 Member

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    im sure more people will buy bl2 now then if they didnt do a free w/e so its win win for them. Its the kind of game you dont finish in 8 hrs, more like 80.
     
  19. Life_Essence

    Life_Essence Member

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    (I find this funny as I got a bug from when it came out that leveled me from ~5 to 47 in one go and it's stayed there since.) but that's definitely a good way of dealing with it, hell it's a good thing to have regardless of free weekends as it gives new players a chance to actually learn.
     
  20. Pinkeh

    Pinkeh Member

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    We used to call these demos. People just forgot about them for a while.
     

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