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Friday, July 1, 2011

WoT’s Freemium Model

             Never in the history of gaming has a consumer had so many choices in choosing how to pay for their gaming. You have Subscription methods, Free-2-play models, Micro Transactions, pay as you go and Now Freemium. The basic premise behind the Freemium structure is you get the stock game for free and if you want certain added details, like more storage space, faster level pace and special vehicles or weapons, you can choose to buy them, but it is not required.

World of Tanks uses a Freemium system where anyone can play the game and progress fully without ever spending a dime (Free) and a system that allows you to purchase certain features and bonuses that can enhance the game or speed up your leveling (Premium). The purchased currency in the game is aptly called “Gold” currency and with it you can buy special tanks, additional storage space and accelerated experience and money advancement.

I have purchased and played all types of games under every single model and although I don’t despise any one system, I am starting to really enjoy this Freemium system. The biggest advantage is the freedom to decide when and how I spend my money. Take as an example a standard subscription MMORPG game, that you pay for the game and then pay a monthly fee to continue playing it. This system has very limited choices in payment options where you have to pay for each day consecutively. Sure you could stop your subscription and restart it when you want to if you need to take a break, but ultimately this is not practical as the hassle of turning an account on and off daily or weekly is to great.

           World of Tanks allows you to purchase game time in several different increments from single day to 30 days. This allows me to pick and choose which days I want to pay for and I don’t have to pay for days that I am unable to play. Even if I don’t pay for that day I can still play the game, just not at a premium level. Some people may not like this system, but for me the advantages out weigh the disadvantages and are great for a person with limited play time. Many may complain about gold tanks filling up the ranks of each battle, but honestly I could care less how the other player achieved their tier 8 tank. As long as I am enjoying the game it ultimately doesn’t matter.          

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