The Money Making Game: SOE’s F2P Shift

We certainly have no problem getting caught up in the fun of playing games, but the people who create them have their pocketbooks to worry about, too. In this column, finance expert and GameSpy contributor Chris Morris guides you through the tricky corridors the gaming industry’s financial side, touching on big-time business decisions and how they matter to the common gamer.

On the surface, giving your product away for free – especially if it has been a revenue generator for you for years – doesn’t make a lot of sense. But sometimes, that sort of radical move can be the kick in the pants aging games need to become relevant once more in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

Case in point: Sony Online Entertainment, which may not have started the MMO trend, but certainly was the first to truly capitalize on it, has been spending a lot of time lately exploring the free-to-play business model, converting a pair of games that have historically charged monthly subscription fees. And the early trends are astonishingly encouraging.

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