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Types of Payment Models

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#1 PoultryChamp



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Posted 21 September 2013 - 06:21 PM

What are some of the types of payment models for developers?









I'm getting a list together for ID and I want to know the differences between each.

"You can't stop the signal, Mal. Everything goes somewhere, and I go everywhere."

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#2 Ides


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Posted 22 September 2013 - 07:39 AM

Free - The game may have licencing behind it but the entirety of the game is available for free without charge. Sometimes the developer may ask for money but it is not required to play.


Freemium - A game that is available to play for free but requires players to pay money to access the premium features of the game. It is usually a subscription fee but may differ upon the company. (RuneScape)


Premium -


Pay-to-Play - A subscription system where players pay to have access to the game. This can include an initial fee to buy the game or only a subscription.


Free-to-Play - Usually following a microtransactional system where users can play the game free but optionally buy virtual items or gain access to additional features. (


Pay-to-Own - You pay for the game once then have access to it forever. (Guild Wars)


Pay what you want - Games that are offered for a price that you put on them. Sometimes there may be a minimum due to transaction fees and limits.


It's difficult to just say XYZ game is free-to-play when it is a term that was for marketing purposes. You could probably say that the game is pay what you want or freemium. Perhaps have it where we have a checkmark for lets say microtranactions, subscription, and cover how the "trial" of the game works. Runescape would be an endless trial where you are limited in features. I'm not exactly sure what to call it but it would differ to another games that offer only a few months or restrict you to specific servers (that are for the most part the same as the "premium" ones.


There is also crowd funding, early-access, alpha, beta, (which are usually offered for free but limited) and all that kind of stuff to sort out too.

#3 Eggs


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Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:15 AM

There needs to be a distinction between single player games, single+multi games, and multiplayer games. Pay to own for Guild Wars is much different than Pay to own for say, GTA.

#4 Darth Irule

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 02:34 PM

Free to Play and games with microtansitions should be separate.



#5 Vivil



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Posted 02 October 2013 - 06:16 PM

Free to Play and games with microtansitions should be separate.


Ageed. There is very big difference between RuneScape (basically Pay to Win) and Dota 2 (cosmetic only shop) monetisation model. Both fall under Free to Play.

That being said it's not really possible to specify the monetisation model in one word just like Ides said.

#6 Ides


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Posted 02 October 2013 - 09:25 PM

Free to Play and games with microtansitions should be separate.


The problem with using the term F2P is it is often a loaded term. Perhaps we should focus on three aspects:

  • Trial Method(s) - None. 30/15 days, unlimited play with limited access, unlimited, etc (In what limited way can you play the game for free)
  • Payment Model - Subscription, Pay to Own, Microtransactions (In-game shop), Pay what you want, Invite only
  • Gameplay Balance - softcore, hardcore, spender, hardcore spender, etc (the type of player that would be the most powrful kind where softcore is a player who may play on and off averaging fairly little time, hardcore players play daily, spender spends money into the game, and hardcore spender combines the two)

Might have to work on the gameplay aspect but they cover what companies push for and what players look for.

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