LEGO robot plays free-to-play games while human creator sleeps

You game playing robotmay think you’re a dedicated player of your free-to-play game of choice. But no matter how often you go on raids in Boom Beach or send help requests to Facebook friends in Candy Crush Saga, you won’t come close to Uli Kilian’s dedication.

Kilian, a 3D production director, loves Jurassic Park Builder. But like most free-to-play games, it requires players to check in regularly and tap on a dinosaur to earn in-game currency. The alternative, of course, is to pay real world money, but who wants to do that?

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The Hidden Profits Behind Free Videogames

The SWTORrecent announcement by Blizzard Entertainment that it would be giving its next game away for free might have startled some investors.

Blizzard, after all, is the talent behind some of the industry’s biggest powerhouses, including “World of Warcraft” and “Diablo,” and has generated billions of dollars for parent Activision. But the seemingly sudden burst of generosity could turn out to be one of developer’s most savvy ideas to date.

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Gaming Industry’s Latest Idea: Free Games

Since kixeyethe days of the Atari 2600, the video game industry has stuck to the same formula: Consumers buy console hardware, then purchase each game separately – at prices ranging from $20 in the 1970s to $60 today.

But the changing nature of the industry has made some question that model. Increasingly, players are balking at the high price of titles, opening the door for the mobile market to grow. That sort of defection isn’t especially surprising with casual players (who have always tended to chase bargains) — but with core players beginning to rethink their buying habits, the industry is being forced to evolve.

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17 big games you can play for free

The $60 video game isn’t going away anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean you have to shell out big money if you want to play a triple-A title these days.

More and more big-name games are now offering free experiences. Even better, they’re being made by some of the industry’s top developers with the same cutting-edge graphics engines powering pricey releases. So long as you don’t fall too far down the rabbit hole of microtransactions, you can have all sorts of fun without dropping a cent.

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Is the MMO dying?

Just a few short years ago, massively-multiplayer online games (MMOs) were considered the future of gaming.

Virtually every publisher was running one, building one, or contemplating one. A lot of those failed. A few struggled along with small but loyal audiences. And all of them acknowledged that they lived under the shadow of perennial champ World of Warcraft.

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Virtual Economy, Real Money

While it seems counterintuitive, the hottest trend in the video game industry is giving away games for free, then offering a deeper-level of interaction — for a fee.

Whether it’s new titles, like “Smurfs’ Village” on iPhone or old standards like “EverQuest,” publishers are in a race to offer free-to-play games — sometimes known as “freemium” games — and in many cases, it’s making them a fortune.

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EverQuest going free-to-play

The game that made MMO games a viable force in the industry is going free-to-play.

EverQuest will drop its mandatory monthly pricing strategy in March, as the game hits its impressive 13th birthday — though like other free-to-play games Sony Online Entertainment currently distributes, there will be a tiered pricing plan for players who want more features and content.

Read more at Yahoo! Games