The free to play model has exploded in recent years with established games like Lord of the Rings Online and Team Fortress 2 adopting the model after being released at retail. Newer games like Phantasy Star Online 2 and Tribes Ascend have adopted the model in favor of a retail release all together. These games offer players a good portion of gameplay for free with additional items, add-ons and experiences available for a nominal fee.
Just how many players of these games spend their hard earned money on in-game items? According to the NPD group approximately 40% players report that they have spent real world money within Free to Play games. In the Freeium Games Market Report the NPD estimates that 40% of the United States population have played some form of Free To Play entertainment.
Do you spend any of your gaming time with Free to Play titles? One of my most anticipated games Phantasy Star Online 2 will be releasing under the model sometime later this year. Time will tell if larger games like World of Warcraf also adopt this model.