In our last Games Monthly article, we introduced you to several current trends in game design. However, 2021 is a very dynamic year and constantly brings us more news.
1) Cloud Gaming
Cloud-streaming games are games that are always accessible. Anytime and anywhere. Their advantage is that the player can play the games without needing to store them in their device directly. Whether it is a computer, game console or mobile phone. The data is stored in an online storage (cloud) instead. Thanks to this, it is possible to switch from one platform to another and continue the game despite changing the device. It has a great potential thanks to 5G networks as well, which are becoming more and more accessible. Of course, cloud-streaming games have been on the market for a long time, but their popularity is gradually growing, especially in the recent period. Cloud Gaming is mostly supported by large companies such as Nvidia, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, or Facebook. Cloud gaming has been available for Slovak players since last year thanks to Nvidia GeForce Now, Xbox Cloud Gaming and Google Stadia. Facebook also started to offer some cloud-streaming games in October last year.
Although their service is currently only available in the Americas, Facebook plans to expand it to other regions. It should be available for players in Western and Central Europe in the first half of next year. Facebook offers games in a free-to-play model. One of the most popular titles available is Assassin’s Creed Rebellion from Ubisoft.
Netflix would also like to add cloud-streaming games to its portfolio at some point. As a part of its efforts to provide subscribers with a gaming experience.
2) Business model: Free-to-play
The most popular business model in games today is free to play. These games are available for free and therefore can reach a wide audience. Even large companies perceive this trend and try to adapt to it. For example, EA Games has announced that all sports games released after FIFA 22 could also be free-to-play. Another example is eFootball (recently rebranded PES 2022). This game will be available for free on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and possibly other platforms in the future.
3) Business model: Play-to-earn
However, free to play games are not the only ones gaining in popularity. Developers are starting to use a relatively new game model called play-to-earn. It is a model that rewards players for the time and effort they devote to the game and thus contributes to its ecosystem. Thanks to this model, players can enjoy most of the game and can even earn money in addition. Some players even make a living from it. That is why we are witnessing the birth of a new market that connects games and cryptocurrency exchange. One example of a successful pay-to-earn game is Axie Infinity, which could be compared to Pokémon. To start playing the game, one needs to buy a creature called Axie, which you can then breed with other Axie, send into fights and challenge other players. Throughout this process, your Axie gains experience and rises in levels. Players can trade their Axie with each other or even sell them. Axie Infinity is a game that is the exact opposite of the Free-to-play game model. The difference is that players need to buy at least 3 animals to start with. These can be purchased only with cryptocurrency Ethereum (ETH) on their own marketplace. The cheapest pet today costs about $195. Interestingly, players do not buy this pet from the company, but from another player who sells his own pet or the one he raised. The company receives a 4.25% cut of each payment and the rest goes directly to the player selling it. Therefore, we can say that players own the entire economy of the game.
As we can see, developers have a lot of options they can choose. We follow these trends in PPS, but mainly the free-to-play model. So far, all of our games are free for all players around the world, and we plan to continue with this trend in the future.