Balancing Free to Play and Making Money

When Pokemon GO was released it only took about a single day before it was making more money than all of the App Store and Google app store combined. In less than a week it had generated more than 14 million dollars of revenue, and users didn't have to pay anything to play it.

All of that money was coming from in-game and optional purchases made by players and dedicated fans. This is not an entirely new trend, and Free to Play or "Freemium" games have been taking over the market and displacing games once considered giants such as Angry Birds.

This style of game design is not necessarily difficult to implement, however, as we've seen with the backlash from gamers angry at video game companies for making their games pay to win, it's clear much work is still needed to find the right approaches.

It is a complicated situation, as now, the oneness is on the designers not to monetize the game, but to monetize gameplay features and the experiences themselves.

The Skinner Box and the fundamental lessons of behavioral psychology. Knowing how humans are suggested in their behavior on a fundamental level, and using that knowledge to influence them into making micro-transactions, that’s where the moral dilemma lives.