Reality Check - How Free-to-play Exploits your Brain

This week Cam explores the psychology of free-to-play and how our brains can be exploited.

Discussion

789 comments
briancox
briancox

depends on the f2p i pay for only few.

and the dude who said they r trash u must not have played any good ones a ton of f2p are great.

PayneKiller
PayneKiller

Sorry bruh, I'm smart, and I don't pay for a damn thing in free to play games.

reddead123
reddead123

love this show! look forward to it every week


brotherscampos
brotherscampos

I paid just a few jajajaja but I dont know they play with my brain jaja

Doombot6000
Doombot6000

I am not a purchase on free to play but i think this applies to some fast travel elements in some games.

Crush_Project
Crush_Project

interesting vid.  Ive always truly wondered how it was a perfectly rational person could get sucked into a scam like the ftp market.

gvidzix
gvidzix

Have spent, but only on like 2 games, the best ones I think deserve that little sum, and in exchange I get something out of it.

The games i spent are - Vindictus online , and just recently Warframe (for character and weapon slots only).

I see a lot people spending money on LoL, well I haven't, I grind for IP :D

Btw some of the games feature survey system, so few surveys and enough points for what i wanted ...

Have spent like 30 pounds only.

Hsanrb
Hsanrb

Have 600 hours of dota 2, 100-125 of which are watching matches over dotatv. I've spent around $45 or roughly $1 for every 10 hrs of actual play. Could I have spent money on other games over Steam, hell yeah I could have, but then I also spend money on games I touch for less than 10hrs that never get that low of a price:time ratio like I got on dota 2. I have a better chance of blowing my money on a steam sale on awful games then I do putting money into games I play time and time again.

xboxbilly05
xboxbilly05

Over 2 years of playing league of Legends, I have spent around £300. 

Berkut4796
Berkut4796

Fascinating stuff Cam, keep up the great work on the show!

_m4a1_
_m4a1_

I played about 6 or 8 F2P ranging from RPG to FPS to strategy and so far: They all aren't as solid as AAA productions and they aren't even fun. The worst part is that you can't finish those games, you just become stuck in these games for a loooong time. I played them because the weak rig I had. Anyway, I have never spent any money on these games. and after this video, I kiss the F2P goodbye.

cabeza_recaba93
cabeza_recaba93

yeah... i'm immune.. i have no money to spend.. haha

shermenz1
shermenz1

I will never spend money on these low grade video games just because I don't want them to exist.

Simpson761
Simpson761

the part where it says the self control fades away is easy to fix.... just STOP playing that game and start another game? so by the time you get up to the self control part of the new game your self control has been rebuilt lol. Even GAMES are using psychology to rape our bank accounts these days.... lol. cant blame them, money is sweet.

Simpson761
Simpson761

I will buy DLC to get more quests etc on games. but i flat out refuse to buy things off of F2P games due to the fact i feel like im paying to win... i want a challenge and not beat a person due to the fact i paid more money than them.... i constantly feel (in F2P games) that i am being put into positions that make me feel like i need to buy something. this really turns me off. from talking to other people though i see that F2P is great for them. they love it. too bad im not the same.

sagejonathan
sagejonathan

I spent $10 once on a PC game when I was a kid. Never spent another dime on free to play although DC Universe Online almost got me.

Wensea10
Wensea10

'Free to play' games are definitely useful because video games are mostly expensive.

robertcain
robertcain

I did end up spending a bit of money every now and again on Mass Effect 3's multiplayer packs as there came a time where I just got bored of having to play matches over and over again to earn enough credits. This mistake I regret now as some of these purchases failed to register and yet the money was still drawn from my PS Store Wallet. Never spending any money on this sort of thing again!

megjur
megjur

When I was 14, I paid for 4 months of premium on runescape (lol, I know), and I once bought a vanity item on TF2. I have played a lot of "free to play" games, but I can't say I have ever found single one enjoyable enough to pour a single penny into. I get about a week of free enjoyment out of it and as soon as I am board or my friends no longer play it, its gone from hard drive for good. I understand the psych involved in F2P, I just don't understand why the games aren't more enticing, then again I'm not much of a MOBA player.

Virus_X0
Virus_X0

Can you send to me picture on Cup? Reality check?

Ailurusf
Ailurusf

Oh, I do play F2P games, and I have spent money on them. I play TF2 (and once in a while, DOTA2), because they're fun as few other things. And I once spent 15 cents on the cheapest item TF2 had so that I could expand the amount of items I could have (you know, to get all the weapons). Other than that, that's all the experience I have with F2P games.

Buck_Swaggler
Buck_Swaggler

What I gathered from that was: free-to-play games are like sluts

Zo26
Zo26

HI Cam, your documentary based report on gaming psychology is very insightful and interesting, free-to-play are later not free-to-play, because they are not freewares, while the business model is legit, the practice of free to play is less appealing to me, I'd rather play a full game, with a nice story, great gameplay mechanics while free-to-play is at the third layer of gaming, preceded by indie games, mobile gaming is kind of addictive, like the use of mobile it self, leaves a lot pathways to for the practitioners of free-to-play business model to provide tempting behaviour, I am agreed completely, the method is persuasive.
I'd sure like to see the part two of Reality Check, thanks Cam for an insightful review :)

Rizer
Rizer

Huh. Interesting.

DeadGothicRed
DeadGothicRed

World of tanks, it was fun for a bit but eventually you hit a wall...War Thunder is better but with F2P nowadays they get much greedier and I would love to pay a one time fee in order to play these games but Im not spending the rest of my gamer life on these all the time anymore.

therealFrek
therealFrek

Basically F2P games are the developer hoping to make more money than what a monthly sub would bring in, or to get people just playing their game in the first place. Whenever I play a game that is 'F2P' and I enjoy it I don't mind spending on the game what would be equivalent to a comparable monthly sub. So for example in a great MMO that would probably run 14.99/month, I don't mind spending that much in any given month, it helps fund the game and the company can keep the game 'live'. I've never spent more than that though in a given month.

If you've found yourself spending hundreds of dollars on a F2P game every month then yep, it's safe to conclude you have a self control problem and it's time to cut the cord on F2P games for you.

stefano1956
stefano1956

if there ever was such a thing as a moral Compus, it was demagnetized a long time ago.


robitussin217
robitussin217

Interesting...I don't want to be exploited!!!

artyom570568
artyom570568

Love the show....keep it up man.

This is why i come to Gamespot!

Imperiusmax
Imperiusmax

Manipulative SOBs. Still I have not yet succumbed to the lore of the free to play siren.

Gr0wl
Gr0wl

"There is no such thing as a free lunch" .

elanbg
elanbg

There are two ways of investing in a F2P game - with time or with money. Bragging about not spending money in F2P game means you are either with the whole time in the world (which means you are a child and you are forgiven. that is actually ok), or you are really really poor, which is sad. So I went for the better option.

stefano1956
stefano1956

there is a foolproof guaranteed method to avoid paying money on free to play games, i have been a gamer for over 25 years and i have never ever paid for content in a game part of this is i find it morally reprehensible on the same level as taking advantage of choir boys. or mass murder.

but that is not what has allowed me the blissful freedom i enjoy.

my solution - DON'T PLAY FREE TO PLAY GAMES, EVER., and honestly you wont miss a thing. unless you miss the feeling of low self esteem. and think of it....... if enough people were to do this we could make a lot of  assholes really upset and unhappy, now that is something worth doing?



CraZed__
CraZed__

Guys... This is the BEST show on Gamespot, hands down. In fact it is better than 90% of any other game related videos on any given day on any other site. It's so good I actually wouldn't mind buying that coffee mug.

Thanks for exploiting MY brain with your awesome new series. Keep 'em coming.

GrahamZ
GrahamZ

I've also spent money on F2P games on impulse, but then I've regretted it.  I think my problem is that if I'm not having that much fun in a game, I'll think that the problem is that I need X to help me progress further, and once I do that, the game will become more fun.  But it never actually does, and I end up quitting shortly thereafter.


In any case, I prefer games that have a flat subscription price to F2P games, because those are less apt to try to make the game extra grindy on purpose in order to encourage purchases to ease that grind.

And btw, yes, I love these topics also.  Great show.

placksheep
placksheep

I love this show!
I've spent money on free to play games, but usually because I want to support the developer; not to avoid some grinding.

ShiroKuro91
ShiroKuro91

Now I understand why I haven't fallen in that, its because I tend to ignore those mesages, I just close them automatically

very interesting chapter

Wilbo95
Wilbo95

One thing that wasnt mentioned is how there is a big difference between pure free to play and pay to win games. To use the easiest example, take LoL and DOTA: you have to buy actual champions in LoL whereas in DOTA all the purchases are purely cosmetic. I imagine the drive to purchase in game items is different in these two senarios

Zloth2
Zloth2

Psychology tricks like using a weird camera lens to make it look like the person talking is leaning toward you, which makes it appear as if they are really really eager to tell you something? ;)

This is looking like a good series, though.  Gamasutra has posted a few articles on this and I'm glad to see the news spreading.

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

@Simpson761 Agreed. I can honestly say I've never really been into that whole F2P for just that reason of feeling like if I wanted to enjoy it more, I had to pay MORE. I guess for some people that might be the fun of it, idk, but to me I just find it as a rip-off. DLC is one thing b/c your basically know what you're getting and it's essentially designed to add value to gameplay; so I don't mind buying it occassionally (especially if it's a game I love).

F2P, though.....not so much.

Zo26
Zo26

*proceeded by indie games.

samanoskay
samanoskay

@elanbg so u spent money on, rather than playing a game, well done.

Simpson761
Simpson761

@PumpkinBoogie @Simpson761 DLC is like modding your car with performance parts.  Monthly subscriptions is like refilling your tank (or servicing). i dont mind either. i know it costs devs money to keep servicing game servers and all the rest. but if they make heaps of money i dont care. they are up front and clear.  DLC is good because a game creator might want to see whats good in the game and if the game even sells well at all before pumping more time and money in. at no point is DLC forced apon you to continue or make you more competitive in game (some exclusions may apply, of course). if people just stop pumping money into the F2P games then they will stop making them lol.