Ngmoco’s Ben Cousins is of the opinion that within the “next few years” a free-to-play as large and as Skyrim will emerge.
“I am totally 100% confident – I will bet large amounts of money – that we will have, in the next few years, a free-to-play equivalent of Skyrim,” Cousins told GI International.
“A game like Skyrim, where you accrue skills and equipment over time, that you can play for hundreds of hours, is actually one of the easiest games to develop for a free-to-play model. That would be a big hit.”
Cousins liked the various eras of free-to-play as 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, with the current form dominated by Zynga styles games in which the average player spends around $20 lifetime.
The future, though, is in the 3.0 model in which micro-transactions will include gameplay features and as well as player “excitement, delight and risk taking.” The average amount spent on the game’s lifetime per player would be around the $60 mark, Cousins predicted.
“In the future I believe free-to-play will be the way that nearly everyone plays games, it will be nearly every genre, and it will be nearly every platform,” he said.
According to his reckoning, free-to-play 3.0 games could reach am audience as large as 200 million.