CCP’s CEO Hilmar Pétursson believes that cloud gaming provides the perfect opportunity for free-to-play developers to maximise their revenues and succeed in the highly competitive space.
His comments came as he sat on a business panel at today’s Cloud Gaming Europe conference in London.
"Free-to-play allows your customers to begin to play your game before they have even made a decision about it," said the CEO of the Eve Online studio in a session titled ‘The Business of Cloud Gaming: All-You-Can-Eat or Micro-Transactions’.
"They can experience your game before they have reached the decision point of commitment to paying for certain elements of that game. In that way cloud gaming’s lack of friction provides the perfect way to see success; to move people into your game to the point where they can make purchase decisions."
However, his co-panelist and Namco Bandai Partners SVP Olivier Comte argued that the increasing proliferation of cloud gaming services means little to gaming business models. In fact, Comte and his colleagues at Namco Bandai remain yet to be convinced that the cloud means free-to-play is a business model absolutely suitable for larger companies.
"Even with the effect the cloud has on free-to-play, for big companies like us, who have many thousands of developer’s salaries to pay, committing completely to free-to-play still feels like too much of a risk," admitted Comte. "An upfront price for a game may be a barrier to a consumer, but if you are a big company that cannot move fast so easily, you have to move more carefully and not react too quickly to something that may be just a two or three-year fashion."