It’s amazing to me that in the course of five years we can go from “consumables are the artifacts of greed” to “F2P is the strongest pillar of the industry”. When EA put consumables into Madden 2007 (I believe that was the year), there was an entire shitstorm of rage from the commentariat. Now, consumables are 68 percent of F2P spending and allowing entire distribution types that did not exist previously.
Gamasutra has a great article up by Simon Ludgate on the economics of that particular market that I find incredibly interesting. Designers and companies deserve to get paid for the products and services they provide. If this model helps breed innovation in game design and doesn’t just become a mechanism for extracting revenue from users (nee Zynga), then I welcome the sea change.
Coworkers have introduced me to League of Legends which is confounding in many, many ways, but I have to admit to finding how the business merges with the design to be fascinating. My one worry about these games are their ephemeralness–once Riot moves on, the game is done. There are no artifacts to leave behind. If that is the unfortunate dynamic of privacy prevention, then we all lose.