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Forking over your cash to play for free

MJ Guthrie

Free-to-play means you can play for free, right? Not if you've got your sights set on the top founders packs for upcoming games like Marvel Heroes. In a blog on Gamasutra, virtual world economist Ramin Shokrizade explores the trend of these F2P collector-edition equivalents and whether the value justifies the price or if it's all a con to push players into making uninformed purchases before they have enough info.

Shokrizade compares the value of both Marvel Heroes and MechWarrior Tactics founders packs. At $199.99 and $120 respectively, both come with a hefty price tag, but both also claim significantly higher values. Do you really get your money's worth? Because of the replayability inherent in trying each superhero, Shokrizade rated Marvel Heroes as "pricey but reasonable." MechWarrior Tactics, however, received a "poor value" rating due to the tremendous in-game advantage that the founders pack gives.

How will these titles ultimately fare? Shokrizade stated that it all depends on enjoyable player interactions. "[Players] should not have to spend a lot in order to be able to have a positive social experience," he said. "Taking this one step further, if [players] can spend to lower the experience of other players, this will cause a rapid collapse of revenues."

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