Acceptable monetization in video games

The title of this post makes it clear: if some video game monetization strategies are deemed “acceptable” it certainly means that some others… aren’t!

Following various controversies and during these times of exploration, the video game industry seems in dire need of some guidance and clear lines not to cross when developing and implementing its monetization strategies. Therefore, it would be interesting to try to define what is and what constitutes “acceptable monetization” in video games.

This post delves deeper into the dark side of monetization, and tries to underline a few limits that should not be crossed by game publishers who aim at building long-lasting, trustful relationships with players.

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Evolution of video game monetization: from Premium to Games as a Service

One thing that has been clear in the last decade or so is that the video game industry is just as inventive when it comes to imagining innovative games pushing the boundaries of the medium, as it is to find new ways of monetizing them and enticing players into spending ever more money.

As a matter of fact, we are entering a time where consumer spending habits are changing, and therefore, the standards for monetizing and making money in games are adapting to answer them. This is the first time in more than 20 years that the business model is experiencing such a shift.

Many of these new models borrow from Free-to-play (F2P) – specifically from mobile games – and are becoming more common and prominent on console and PC. We heard a lot about loot boxes at the end of last year, but currently a new form of monetization is taking over: “games as a service”.

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