Gaming's future is free-to-play and microtransactions, says Candy Crush dev

King's Tommy Palm says "I think all companies have to transition over to" the microtransaction-based business model.

No Caption Provided

According to Candy Crush developer King, the future of gaming will be all about free-to-play and microtransaction-based business models.

"The microtransaction is so strong and it's definitely a much better model," King Games Guru Tommy Palm told IGN. "I think all companies have to transition over to that."

Palm acknowledged that "hardcore gamers" are "not happy about" the free-to-play/microtransaction model right now, but he says they'll come around.

"If you asked them about the long term, 'Do you want to continue playing your favorite game for years to come?’ And the answer will be yes.”

Palm is talking about the "games as a service" model, whereby a game is more of a platform through which new content is delivered on a regular basis.

Also in the interview, Palm said developers must make sure they are not "milking" consumers through "greedy" monetization practices.

"I think for companies it is very important to find a good balance. Free-to-play games are difficult to do, and you really need to be good at making it feel balanced to the gamers. So it's not too greedy," he said.

Palm pointed out that King has adopted the practice of designing its games, like Candy Crush Saga, so that they never force players to pay. This isn't just an idea, it's reality, as Palm mentioned that more than half of the players who reached the final level in Candy Crush did not pay to get there.

More than 93 million people play Candy Crush Saga every day. Finally, Palm cited Blizzard Entertainment's game Hearthstone as a free-to-play title done right.

"It's a great example of a F2P game that is made really well; it’s well balanced, and I don't think many people are complaining about that business model," he said. "It's easy to see if there's concept that is close to your heart. It works out really well."

For more about the ongoing debate around the free-to-play model, check out our new editorial featuring comments from various GameSpot editors.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

  •   View Comments (0)
    Join the conversation
    There are no comments about this story