IndustryGamers - Free-to-Play Is The 'New Frontier of Western Game Development,' says Former Activision VP. I believe free-to-play is the new frontier of western game development. Free-to-play’s biggest difference is that success is based on creating an intense emotional response and ensuring real human interaction across huge hours of play. People are interesting, complex and challenging. In free-to-play games, people ARE the game, not the graphics, not the game mechanic, not the AI or scripting, but real, living, breathing people. The games must be designed to drive the consumer to engage with the game and ideally with one another. This is the key to success for Words with Friends. Real people get to interact virtually. The more engagement, the better the results.
It's the new frontier, which means everybody and their brother is going to jump in, a small handful make a fortune, the rest crumble, and the industry takes a step back and goes "well, we're not going to make that mistake again".