That is an interesting development.
Microsoft has announced that its upcoming Fable Legends, which will be the newest entry into its long running series of action adventure games, will be free to play. The game, which explores some ideas of asymmetric multiplayer gameplay, was originally announced two years ago for the Xbox One, and earlier this year for the PC.
However, if you are worried that the game being free to play automatically denotes a lower level of quality, then you would be wrong, the game’s director said.
“There are free-to-play games like World of Tanks out there that are very much a pay-to-win kind of experience,” game director David Eckelberry told Eurogamer.
“For me the better ones for the customers are the ones where you get to enjoy all of the content without paying money. And then you pay if you want to. Our mission is for a fun experience on any platform. As a first-party studio our goal isn’t to invoke anything vaguely like buyers remorse. I want my players to feel like, oh, I bought something cool. I don’t regret that purchase. That’s what matters to me.
“When I’ve played my 30th hour of Hearthstone, at some point I decided, I should probably give Blizzard some money. I felt like I owed them something because they’d made such a great game for me to play, and I didn’t need to spend money in the game, but I thought I should. So I bought some card packs. I did the same thing in Team Fortress and eventually in League of Legends.
“That’s the kind of feeling I want to invoke with our players. I want them to have such a fun experience that some percentage of them go, okay I’m going to buy a hero that just came out, or I’ll get Winter a new hairstyle and a cool-looking hood. That’s the kind of feeling we want to generate in our players where, we’ve offered them such a good time that they’re spending time in it that they feel valuable.”
Personally, I feel like Microsoft may know what it is talking about here- after all, it launched a flagship game as a free to play title two years ago, and that title has gone on to be very well received, not just for its monetization balance, but also for how good the game in general was. That game, of course, was Killer Instinct, and if Fable Legends is half as good, I’ll be satisfied.