Thinking monetization into the loop: creative processes in free-to-play game development
Free-to-play games, that generate revenue by offering micro-transactions, have to be designed differently compared to other games. Theis phD projekcts looks into how the creative process of free-to-play game development is shaped.
The so-called free-to-play or freemium monetization model is increasingly dominant in games, especially in the mobile realm. Free-to-play games can be downloaded and installed free of charge, however, during playing the game will try to generate revenue by offering micro-transactions that will extend the basic playing experience, e.g. with additional content or cosmetic improvements. The monetization model causes a stir, as it strongly affects the game design and is regarded unethical by some opponents. The dissertation project focuses on the monetization model’s implications for designing and developing games, thereby positioning itself in the branch of game studies which focuses on game production and the broader field of media industry studies. It aims to find out how the creative process of free-to-play game development is shaped, e.g. in terms of team composition, required professional skills, and development tools such as player metrics.