Is Chillingo moving to free-to-play? That’s a huge question and it’s one we asked ourselves when we saw a re-tooled, free-to-play-ized version of Monster Mayhem [Free] hit the App Store this week. The original game, which we reviewed back in 2010, didn’t ask for cash in exchange for digital cash that you can exchange for weapons. This one does. Also, it wasn’t free like this one is, which you know, is sort of the point of free-to-play.
It’s not a secret that free-to-play is the dominant kind of game on the App Store, so why wouldn’t a publisher like Chillingo start really digging into free-to-play? That’s probably a question it asks itself a lot, but no, this doesn’t signal a larger move. In a response to us, the publisher said that it will continue to institute additional functionality into games where it makes the most sense. For Monster Mayhem, an older game, optional IAP downloads did. But the publisher will continue to offer standard, premium downloads as it has and said it will.
I’ll add that this is a pretty normal tactic for older games: World of Warcraft, actually, just opened up a lot more of the early game to new players for the price of $0. You could also cite titles like Turbine’s Dungeons and Dragons MMO or even Lord of the Rings Online. Of course, the biggest free-to-play move in the recent past was Valve’s Team Fortress 2.
If anything, free-to-play gets the game in more people’s hands and opens up the potential for crazy revenue. Take the Dungeon and Dragons MMO for example: game has done crazy money since switching formats.
I wouldn’t count out a larger move in the mid-to-late future from Chillingo, but as of right now, nothing big is up.
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