The People Who Make Social Games Possible

November 3, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

Some of the most popular games are free to play thanks to a small group of players writes Ryan Rigney:

  • Some of the most popular games have adopted a “freemium” model where the game itself is free to play, but players willing to spend real money are allowed to purchase in-game items. These purchases pay for the games’ development costs.
  • The developers rely on players called whales – individuals willing to invest significant amounts of cash into the game.
  • Each game generally has only a few whales that drive the revenues for the game. The top 10 percent of spenders can make up 50% of revenue.
  • Opponents of the practice say that these people are simply buying their way to victory.
  • Defenders point out that fans of rock bands aren’t faulted for obsessively spending money on buying every bit of the band’s memorabilia.

Read more about the people who subsidize your games so that you can play them for free over here.

Source: Wired