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  1. Should All Videogames Be Free to Play? PBS Game/Show Explains

    It sounds like communist nonsense, but he does have a point.

    Playing video games is an incredibly expensive hobby. Okay, maybe not as expensive as comic books when you look at the cost per hour of entertainment, but most of the time you need a several hundred dollar console just to get started, so yeah, it's pretty prohibitive. But could gravitating towards the Free to Play model of gaming help?

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  2. Nintendo to Release Free-to-Play Game That’s Somehow Not Mario or Pokémon

    Warioware: Mega Microtransactions?

    A day after they spilled new information on many upcoming titles with their E3 Direct presentation, Nintendo still had something new up their sleeve. CEO Satoru Iwata mentioned in a Q&A with press yesterday that Nintendo have another project in the works -- a free-to-play game. Free-to-play games are all the rage these days, with titles like Team Fortress 2 and League of Legends finding massive success. While Nintendo is not a company that is always keen on capitalizing on current industry trends, this is one it turns out they apparently want to get in on. And really, who wouldn't want a Nintendo game you can play for free?

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  3. Star Wars: The Old Republic Is Going Free-To-Play Next Week

    We knew it was coming, but now we know when. BioWare's attempt at a Star Wars MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic, will be going free-to-play starting next week, Thursday, November 15. The game released on December 20 of last year, and a little less than one year later, is making the move to a free-to-play model, like most of the rest of the MMO market. Makes you wonder why any MMO developers think their game can launch without a free-t0-play option nowadays.

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  4. Ubisoft Continues to Bemoan Piracy, Praise F2P, and Miss the Point

    Of all the companies that might put forth suspect data in order to win someone over, our money's on Ubisoft misrepresenting statistics in order to avoid making their digital rights management schemes look draconian. Speaking with GamesIndustry International at GamescomUbisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said that the amount of paying free-to-play PC players equals out to the same amount that had previously purchased boxed copies. It may have been in Cologne, but something stinks here.

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  5. Star Wars: The Old Republic Finally Goes Free-to-Play

    It has finally happened. Electronic Arts and BioWare have come to their collective senses and announced that Star Wars: The Old Republic will be going free-to-play in the fall. Never fear, however, if you really want to give them your money. Non-paying players will only be able to advance to level 50, whereas those that continue to subscribe will earn other benefits. Even so, it will now officially be free to the masses.

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  6. Heroes of Newerth Goes From Free-To-Play to Even More Free

    Just when you thought a game that was already free to play couldn't get any more free, the MOBA Heroes of Newerth is now offering every single one of their currently 107 heroes up for free. Previously, though the game was still free to play, players were given a random set of unlocked, rotating heroes with the majority of the heroes locked. To permanently unlock a character, players had to earn and spend in-game coins, or make a purchase with real money through the cash shop. Now, all the heroes are completely free.

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  7. Team Meat Rails Against Pay-to-Win Nature of Mobile Gaming

    Team Meat, known primarily for their punishingly difficult platformer with super tight controls, doesn't seem like it would have too much concern with the mobile gaming space. Turns out they do, and they aren't fans. The pair are actually planning a mobile Super Meat Boy, one specifically redesigned to fit the platform, but are also generally fed up with the mobile approach to game development on principle. "There is a whole sh*t load of wrong [with mobile game development] these days, from abusive and manipulative money making tactics, to flat out stealing."  And it gets even more real.

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  8. Valve’s DOTA 2 Will be Free to Play

    If you don't play MMOs, don't play PC games, don't have a smartphone or play games on one, or have been living under many rocks specially designed to withstand any kind of penetration from entertainment media, it is probably a surprise that the new, surging business model in the world of video games is that they're being released for the low, low price of free. Just about every MMO nowadays is free to play, and some games that aren't MMOs are starting to follow suit, especially in the smartphone gaming market. So, though it is great news for fans of MOBAs and Valve, it shouldn't really be a surprise that DOTA 2 will be free to play.

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  9. Public Service Announcement: Star Wars: The Old Republic is Free-to-Play This Weekend

    If you are on the fence about giving Star Wars: The Old Republic the old college try, you'll have less of an excuse to give into the dark side and possibly succumb to a new MMO, as SW:TOR will be free to play this weekend. As part of the Weekend Pass Free Trial, SW:TOR will be opening the game up to all players without a previously active account from Thursday, March 15 starting at 12:01 AM CT, to Monday March 19 at 2:00 AM CT. There aren't limits to the freeness of it all, but there are limits to the progress free players can make, though the game is opened enough to give players a pretty good idea if they'd like to continue playing the game via subscription.

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  10. Patent Troll Aims To End Micro-Transactions In Gaming

    Micro-transactions aren't particularly new or novel. Every since FarmVille exploded, the concept of buying in-game materials in order to speed things up, making things prettier, or make things easier has been pretty widely adopted. It may, in fact, be the future of gaming, what with free-to-play games proving to a rather persistent trend. Considering that everybody is using micro-transactions and everything seems to be working out just fine, it can be that someone has a patent on them, can it? It can.

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  11. EverQuest Finally Goes Free-To-Play

    After its big brother, EverQuest II, went free-to-play (which we mentioned here), the original EverQuest will follow the trend of the current MMO market and finally become free-to-play. EverQuest released way back in 1999, and though it wasn't the first graphical MMO, or even the first graphical MMO to enjoy some sort of popularity, it certainly pioneered the genre's popularity. Now, finally, if you've been wondering how the game is still going strong since 1999, but never wanted to pay to find out, you can just hop into the world of Norrath come March for no extra charge, and familiarize yourself with your favorite genre's roots.

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  12. Free-To-Play MMO Makes $2.6 Million Selling One Kind of Item

    There are a lot of free-to-play MMOs out there, and as time goes on, there are only going to be more. That being the case, you may not have ever heard of DarkOrbit. That's what makes it all the more impressive that they managed to rake in $2.6 million (€2 million) through the sale of just one kind of item. That's a lot of money, so how did they pull it off? After all, they must have sold a lot of that item, or it must have been really expensive. It was both, really.

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  13. Minecraft Creator Notch Hates Free-To-Play

    "While I am sceptical of the free to play trend, what I hate is the wording 'free to play'...we should call it 'as expensive as you want it to be' or something." Minecraft creator Markus Persson, otherwise known as Notch, musing on the free-to-play trend that is rising to prominence in the gaming arena.

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  14. Free-To-Play Games Will Only Get More Prominent, More Awesome

    To some developers, it’s become a dirty curse. To others, it has become a venerated phrase, something immediately associated with excellent growth and revenue. To the common gamer, it is instead a promise of gameplay without immediate monetary investment. Considering the typical console game has a sticker price of $60 whether the player ends up liking the game or not, this can be the point that pushes their curiosity over the edge. Regardless, we are living in a free-to-play gaming revolution. But that’s a good thing. It means that developers and publishers are aware enough of their customers’ wants and needs to provide them with tailored content specifically for them.

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  15. Team Fortress 2 Goes Free-to-Play Even Though It Wasn’t a Subscription Game

    Basically a staple in modern multiplayer gaming, Team Fortress 2 will be relaunched as a free-to-play title. Lately, many games are going free-to-play -- generally MMOs that can't stay afloat using a subscription model in the face of World of Warcraft's dominance over the market -- to much success, making their money via microtransactions, which is oddly a market strategy that most of the gaming world looks down upon. Why is it weird that TF2 is going free-to-play, then? Because it doesn't operate under any kind of subscription model -- it was purchased like any other game, then customers played it online. Yep, that means TF2, though old, is becoming a totally free game.

    As anyone who knows TF2 can guess, Valve plans to continue making money off the game via microtransactions -- you know, the much-maligned hats. That's right, TF2 fans! Those hats you all hate but secretly bought a few of? They're literally going to support your game. So, now you can go be the Medic and get blamed for whenever your teammates die for free. Check out an interview with TF2's patriarch, Robin Walker, regarding the move to free-to-play.

    (via Joystiq)

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