The Grouchy Gamer

Yeah, I'm cranky. That's kinda the point...

Free to Play Forever? Fury Closing

Free Forever?Over at Nerfbat, Ryan links to the Fury forums with an announcement that Fury is closing in 48 hours.  I feel bad for people that worked on the game as well as the people who enjoyed playing it.  I agree with Ryan that there is always sadness when a game completely goes away.

I’m seeing a TON of these free to download, free to play games lately though.  Unless I’m missing something there is a kind of a repeat of the dot com boom and bust cycle repeating itself in the gaming industry now.  There seem to be a lot of game companies whose business plan is “we’ll figure out how to monetize it later.”  To me, if they aren’t asking for payment for a box (or digital download,) a subscription, ad revenue support, or an obvious microtransaction model then I am just not going to put any emotional capital into it.  I can’t believe that investors are putting real capital into these companies, but the development resources are obviously coming from somewhere.

I’m all for supporting smaller developers but I am having a hard time seeing how the market is going to support all the non-AAA activity that is currently out there.

Maybe I’m some sort of elitist or something, I don’t know.  I’d play a game like that if were fun and it cost a little money to play.  I really enjoy messing around on my daughter’s Wizard 101 account.  I’m willing to pay for a game like that.

I guess what it boils down to is that if I can’t see any visible means of support then I’m not going to waste my time in the game.  I may miss out on something cool but on the other hand, I’d rather throw my support behind someone that has some sort of sustainable business model.  There are more games out there than I have time to play as it is.

As for all the Fury development folks, I hope you land on your feet.  Fury players, sorry you lost your game but let this be a lesson learned.

In the big picture, if you can’t afford 49 cents a day for entertainment (the cost of a $14.99 a month MMO) then it’s probably best that you step away from the computer and do something productive until you CAN afford it.  If none of the subscription model games float your boat then I guess this is the way you have to pay, with lost effort and time investment.

5 Comments

  1. Yeah I hate to see that happen, but like I said way back when

    http://hudshideout.blogspot.com/2007/12/tr-crafting-auran-layoffs.html

    When you REDESIGN an entire game right before it launches, you are gonna have issues.

  2. Oh, like Pirates of the Burning Sea, Vanguard and Warhammer Online?

  3. Wasn’t fury a pay-for-the-box game with free online play? That would be the same model Guild Wars employs (quite successfully, obviously).

  4. What a lot of ‘free’ games, and ‘free’ service websites, are betting on is getting bought out. Make a free service, and bring in a ton of visitors and hits each day. Take those numbers and try to sell the site. The sad thing is, I think many sites like Fury do this on purpose, and as their business model. The truth is all the sites that were bought out were ones that did have means to stay afloat (Bluesnews, jumptheshark, etc), and weren’t actively looking to be bought out.

  5. There are tons of games that are ‘box buy’ and free online play that are decent but I’ve never seen a game that was ‘totally free’ and at all good myself.

    The Neverwinter Nights series, Guild Wars, etc are games that sold the box but then had free online content. In the case of NWN it was all player made that drove the online crowd.

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