Since the PlayStation 4 launched in November of last year, I have been curious how the two free to play (F2P) launch games (Warframe and Blacklight: Retribution) were doing. The console crowd hadn’t seen what F2P had to offer, nor were they really accustomed to micro-transactions.
As it turns out, they’re doing much better than I had anticipated.
Steve Sinclair, Creative Director for Warframe, said “Yes! Our PS4 Warframe players have been very kind with their support, which means we owe them our gratitude and continued work on further improvements to the game.” However, the team over at Zombie Studios isn’t focusing on revenue quite yet. Jared Gerritzen, Studio Director on Blacklight Retribution stated that “Since the game is still in Beta, our fans have been really understanding about the fact that we are still making improvements, and we are really not trying to think in terms of ‘revenue per user’ at this point.”
Digital Extremes and Zombie Studios have plans to continue support for their respective games. “We’re cranking on our next big PS4 update that will bring the new Oberon Warframe, a new jungle tileset and a slew of performance and stability enhancements.” said Steve. The studio behind Warframe was also worried about releasing their F2P game to a new crowd of gamers. “There was some of that, yes (fear), though it was overshadowed by the excitement that’d we’d be a launch title and that we’d be doing it entirely on our own which was very refreshing.” Jared added enthusiastically that “We have a great fan base on the PC, and we were excited to bring the game to console players as well! As stated earlier, we don’t want to create a game that forces fans to pay, we want to create a fun and exciting experience for the players and we have definitely done that in Beta.”
Overall, everyone playing Warframe has taken to microtransactions relatively easily “They seemed to have accepted it quite well – check it out!”
“I think it’s also important that we’ve learned (after making horrible mistakes) how to avoid some of the pitfalls (like the dreaded ‘pay-to-win’)” Steve told me. Jared had quite a few similar things to say about the people playing Blacklight:
“Everyone has been really accepting of them, and it’s great. I think our fans recognize that the money they spend is going to further the development of the game, we recognize that some of them will never spend anything. We don’t want to create a game that forces fans to pay, and that is something we are constantly tweaking.”
I was more than happy to see players supporting these two games which I would consider prime examples of F2P play done right. They’re both about fun first, revenue later. Hopefully there are many more F2P games of this quality coming to consoles. Heck, I’d even be happy with simply more updates to Warframe and Blacklight.
Let us know your thoughts on these two games in the comments below.