Free-to-play games might be increasing in popularity along with freemium games, but don't count Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick as a fan. Zelnick says a low number of paying gamers can lead to bad game quality, saying most free-to-play games "aren't really high quality content."
"The problem with the free-to-play model is 95-97 percent of people who engage with your content don't pay for it," Zelnick recently said at the Credit Suisse Annual Technology Conference. "3-5 percent do; on a good day, 10 percent. The other thing that's problematic with free-to-play games is in many instances, although not all, they're vastly less engaging."
Despite Take-Two suddenly jumping into the free-to-play market, Zelnick did say the model is very different and there is a certain potential - especially in free mobile games - that will continue to make it appealing.
It's true that game studios have had a difficult time trying to monetize free-to-play games, but it's a sector that some studios have embraced. For example, Grinding Gear Games has successfully built a passionate community around its Path of Exile action RPG game, providing a free-to-play game that has generated a 9 out of 10-star rating on Steam.
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