Zen Of Design

The design and business of gaming from the perspective of an experienced developer

World of Tanks Steps Tentatively Away from ‘Pay to Win’

This article is significant, in that World of Tanks is considered the premier ‘pay to win’ success story in the North American market.

The core basis of “free-to-win” is to remove all payable options that could be viewed as giving a player an advantage in battle. Revenue will come from sales of non-advantageous content, such as premium vehicles, personalization options and the like.

Their definition of ‘free-to-win’ appears to be that players who play for free can work for and get anything that paying players can eventually get that offers a gameplay advantage.

We made in-game purchases that were previously only available to paying players open to all players. Things like gold rounds, premium consumables, camouflage patterns, emblems, platoon creation and other features were switched over to be purchasable with in-game credits…. players can still) use gold to buy credits, pay for premium account status, or purchase premium vehicles.

Whether or not this fully matches what players consider as F2P, the fact that Wargaming.net is publically moving loudly in this direction has pretty big ramifications for the industry as a whole, largely in a direction that I think is good for gamers.

1 Comment

  1. Is it a good direction for gamers? Perhaps. But is it a good direction for gaming in general?

    I think a defensible case can be made that grind-to-win gaming is bad for the medium. People will consume their free time grinding for stuff because they don’t want to pay for it, which means that players will on average play fewer games, buy fewer games, and will probably be more likely to develop intense addictions that will damage their lives than if they were forced to pay money for the same advantages. Grind-to-win is a direct skinner box-like mechanism, whereas pay-to-win is just a wallet check.

    I certainly do not think that pay-to-win is a positive feature for a game, but grind-to-win is just a slightly better bad thing for the player who is richer in time than money.

    Either way the game’s competitive integrity is significantly weakened.

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