The Experience Points Podcast
A weekly video game podcast from the co-writers of

Cash-strapped gamers have never had it so good: today, there are plenty of companies literally giving games away for free.  However, developers aren't simply doing this out of the goodness of their hearts; games without initial costs often feature non-traditional ways of making money.  Recently, a few high profile games like Team Fortress 2 and World of Warcraft have started experimenting with free-to-play and micro-transaction payment models.  They join a host to of other games that are trying to change the way players pay for games.  This week, Jorge and I talk about some of the financial, gameplay, and cultural issues surrounding free-to-play business models.  As always, we're always interested to hear any of your valuable thoughts, so feel free to jump into the comments with your thoughts.

Some discussion starters:

- What are some of your favorite free-to-play games and how do they implement their non-traditional payment models?
- Do specific types of games or genres lend themselves well to the free-to-play model?
- What kinds of cultural and socio-economic issues arise when transitioning to a micro-transaction payment system?

To listen to the podcast:

- Subscribe to the EXP Podcast via iTunes here. Additionally, here is the stand-alone feed.
- Listen to the podcast in your browser by left-clicking here. Or, right-click and select "save as link" to download the show in MP3 format.
- Subscribe to this podcast and EXP's written content with the RSS link on the right.

Show notes:

- Run time: 32 min 23 sec
- "World of Warcraft goes free-to-play until characters hit level 20," via Joystiq
- Music provided by Brad Sucks

Direct download: EXP_Podcast_133_free_to_play.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:30am PDT