Candy Crush Saga dev: “all companies have to transition” to free-to-play

By Brenna Hillier, Wednesday, 16 April 2014 03:27 GMT

Free-to-play is the future of gaming, according to Candy Crush developer King’s Games Guru Tommy Palm.

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Speaking to IGN, Palm said free-to-play is superior to other business models.

“The micro-transaction is so strong and it’s definitely a much better model. I think all companies have to transition over to that,” he said.

“If you talk to many hardcore gamers, they’re not happy about it right now, but if you asked them about the long term, ‘Do you want to continue playing your favourite game for years to come?’ And the answer will be yes.”

That’s not to say every freemium model is working, Palm cautioned, saying companies need to learn how to strike the right balance.

“Free-to-play games are difficult to do, and you really need to be good at making it feel balanced to the gamers. So it’s not too greedy,” he said.

“At King, for instance, we took the decision to make our games truly free-to-play, so you will never end up in the position where you’re forced to pay.”

About half of all top level Candy Crush players didn’t pay, he added, and pointed to Blizzard’s card battler Hearthstone: heroes of Warcraft as an example of free-to-play done right.

Regardless of King’s ethical approach to free-to-play, it’s copped a lot of flack for its trademark habits over recent months, and its IPO went down like a lead balloon.

Thanks, Gamespot.

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