Ben Cousins, who spearheaded Battlefield Heroes
and Battlefield Play4Free
for EA before being snatched up by ngmoco to head up its offices in Sweden
, envisions an industry landscape where big-budget free-to-play titles dominate.
Cousins spoke of several different tiers of freemium games at the Free-2-Play Summit in London, as reported by GI.biz
. The highest he predicts as a "monetization super-highway," with no limit to what players can spend and rewards that are more interesting and complex. "I believe that single-player will be the next to be cracked in terms of freemium monetisation," he said. "And I'm talking about traditional, story-based, scripted, linear and non-linear single-player that we see on consoles.
"I am totally 100 percent confident -- I will bet large amounts of money -- that we will have, in the next few years, a free-to-play equivalent of Skyrim,"
Cousins said. "
A game like Skyrim
, where you accrue skills and equipment over time, that you can play for hundreds of hours, is actually one of the easiest games to develop for a free-to-play model. That would be a big hit."
In this future, Cousins said the average user would have no problem dropping $60 over the course of playing the game. "In the future I believe free-to-play will be the way that nearly everyone plays games, it will be nearly every genre, and it will be nearly every platform."
[Image credit: OfficialGDC