Business models 'should not define game design'

Business models 'should not define game design'
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

August 16th 2012 at 11:55AM

Games must be fun, engaging and offer social elements to attract users, says BioWare GM

Developers should not define a game’s design by its business model, says the GM of BioWare Austin.

Speaking to IGN, Matthew Bromberg said that there had been an overemphasis on creating games with free-to-play in mind, which had an inevitable effect on how titles could be made.

He added that developers had to focus on making a game fun, engaging and social to entice consumers to play their title, as people would not play it just because it is free.

“You don’t define a game by how people pay for it. I don’t think people who design games think about it that way,” said Bromberg.

“All the principles of game design, it has to be fun, it has to be engaging, it has to be social, all those things are true. And when you’re designing with free-to-play in mind, it does impact how you’re designing the game. I do think there’s been a little bit of an overemphasis on it, especially with the business model.

“Game designers don’t design games because of the business model is, they design because they love doing it. The Old Republic being free doesn’t really mean anything, you have to want to play. Especially in a crowded world. Especially with all these options. People don’t play something just because it’s free.”

BioWare recently made the decision to integrate free-to-play into its sci-fi MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic up to level 50 after struggling to gain subscribers.

EA, which has claimed more than 500,000 users have subscribed to The Old Repubic, said the monthly payment model have proved to be a major barrier for many consumers.

"Players want flexibility and choice," said Matthew Bromberg, BioWare Austin's general manager.

"The subscription-only model presented a major barrier for a lot of people who wanted to become part of The Old Republic universe."