1 min read

Maybe... keep money out of games

I had a conversation with a friend recently about free-to-play and play-to-earn games. My friend is a purist, concerned that integrating monetization deeply into games can skew game design away from the real goal: being fun. Honestly, I think this is a pretty reasonable argument. We've seen evidence of this with most play-to-earn games being less-than-fun. Even free-to-play games from before blockchain was a thing gained a reputation for squeezing money from players instead of being fun.

But it's important to remember that free-to-play games with micro-transactions were created in response to mobile users. Console and PC gamers were willing to spend $50 for a game, but most people wouldn't pay $0.99 for your app. Free-to-play isn't inherently bad, but micro-transactions can be abused to harm gameplay.

Play-to-earn has a similar issue. If devs are overly concerned about making their tokens valuable, then the game can suffer.

Separating your monetization from the game itself (i.e. selling copies of your game, but having no in-game money mechanics) allows devs to focus on building something fun.

It's okay to weave money into your game (poker is still fun), but only if you're able to separate your money making concerns from your game designing concerns.


P.S. Start with figuring out how to help your players enjoy themselves. Then figure out how to reward your users for doing things that are valuable. Then figure out how you can make money when your players are happy.