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GPG’s Chris Taylor on freemium: “Absolutely it’s the future”

Thursday, 12th May 2011 06:23 GMT By Nathan Grayson

Freemium, free-to-play, the reason your dog’s house is now technically nicer than your own – call it whatever you want. Point is, it’s making waves, and Age of Empires Online’s Chris Taylor thinks it’s far from finished. In fact, when the dust settles, he thinks it’ll be all that’s left.

“To me it’s the future. Absolutely it’s the future. If I had to make any prognostications about the gaming industry, that’s the easiest one I will have made in 10 years. This model is coming. It’s here to stay. It’s good on every level,” he told Eurogamer.

“It’s happening elsewhere, too. It’s what’s going to make our industry really, truly dominate as a form of entertainment.”

Of course, Taylor’s praise of the model is hardly unprompted. Age of Empires Online is, after all, one such title, allowing players to purchase content packs that run between $5 and $15. Taylor, however, doesn’t see it as nickle-and-diming players until their wallets contain only lint and shattered dreams. Rather, he chose to emphasize what players get when they don’t even spend a penny.

“When I have this experience, where I can get a ‘freemium’ game that’s incredible, huge with arguably hundreds of hours of free gameplay, why would I go to the store and spend $50 in the old model?” he said.

“I’m so done with that. It’s fair to say I’m done dropping that kind of money. I want this in everything. Take any favourite game of mine.”

Bold words. Only time will tell, however, whether freemium’s the Next Big Thing or the next “episodic gaming.”

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