I played Bioshock, the PC game a few days back and instead of being awed by the environment, the plasmids, the tonics, big daddy's and little sisters, I was surprised that everything in the game was actually free. I had been playing Cityville prior to this :). A very welcome change, I must say. (Note that I have nothing against Social Games. It's just the business model that is hard to digest.)
I feel lucky at times that I managed to join the industry well before it was just about money. Initially too, it was just about money, but people used to care a bit about entertainment as well. The way people (industry stalwarts) are talking these days, you would feel that they want to recover all the money for all the games ever made in a year's time or so, even for the ones they didn't make. But I want you guys to keep in mind that 'Freemium' is a revenue generation model, by no means should you equate Freemium = Substandard games. So eventually the Premium games will adapt the Freemium model and we will jointly run this industry (That Shigeru Miyamoto single-handedly resurrected a few decades ago) back into the gutter it initially came from.
The day doesn't seem far when Dastaan, the ever confused Prince of Persia would, at just a single key press, jump from pole to post, wall run, hang on to a vulture, power jump through a cleverly placed grunt enemy and land right in front of a smiling Dahaka (Look up) or Ratash (look up). Until this point it happens exactly like this in the latest Prince of Persia and that's why the day doesn't seem far. Anyway, as he auto draws his sword, you realize that it isn't a sword but a cleverly placed pop up message in the form of a white handkerchief that reads...
- 100 sand orbs to buy a water sword (the one with which you can kill Dahaka).
- 1000 sand orbs to tame Dahaka
- 5000 sand orbs to automatically finish the game and view the end game cut-scene.
- 2 million sand orbs to view the alternative ending
You can buy a 100 sand orbs for $1.
As Garrett the master thief, you must stay in the shadows to avoid detection. You can steal the 'grind currency' (Please look up the net) from in game characters, but that currency will only help you buy a necklace for yourself or clown boots. The real weaponry comes at a premium price or by collecting a bazillion gold coins that will take you forever to collect. Should you get caught or killed, you must pay real money to bribe the officer who captured you, to continue playing.
Download a Cricket World Cup game and you only have access to Canada and Zimbabwe. You can purchase teams like Bangladesh, UAE, Bermuda at fairly low prices, maybe with grind currency. For India, Australia, South Africa, you have to buy each player individually for just $1 per player. Ponting is the FREE player given to you. However, he will only be able to play one over at a time. Then he will sledge for a minute before you can play again. Pay to stop the sledging. Moreover, your players would have real world stamina. You can only play one game of cricket per day. Wanna play more? You know what to do... The $1 Sachin comes only in his briefs and won't actually play a game unless you buy a $40 Indian outfit for him. Unless you have purchased the rights to the stadium, all the matches would have a 2 minute compulsory advertisement after every over or Fall of Wicket.
For all you know, I am joking right now and some economy modeller is taking inspiration from this and thinking of actually doing this in his game.