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The Daily Grind: How should free-to-play games restrict content?

Eliot Lefebvre

It's the perpetual trouble of free-to-play games. The development team wants to give players access to as much as possible (so that the players enjoy the game and keep playing), but it also wants to give players incentive to pay (so that the development team can enjoy dinner and keep paying the rent). So there has to be some sort of throttle on what you can get for free, since otherwise the game is no longer operating as a business and has begun working as a charity.

With the exception of games such as Guild Wars which require a box purchase, every free-to-play game has to place some restrictions on players who pay nothing. But what restrictions are the most fair? Giving out a baseline amount of content and classes for free, and then offering more content or classes for pay? Slowing experience gains without spending money? Or is there another system that you've seen in play that works better?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

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