F2P titles reflect long-term engagement while console games are more akin to film
Free-to-play games are like TV shows and console games are like films, says Peter Molyneux.
Speaking to Develop Editor Will Freeman at the F2P Summit, as transcribed by The Guardian, the industry icon compared the playing habits of free-to-play and console players to that of the TV and film industries.
Molyneux explained that console games are similar to films, as users would often play a title, and once they had finished their association with the game would be over.
He added that free-to-play games however more closely follow the model of a TV series, with the player constantly returning to play the title again.
"If you think of console games as the equivalent of films – you go to the cinema, you watch it, consume it, you're done with it – that's what I think console games are like," he said.
"I think free-to-play games are more like TV series. You watch a TV series for half an hour or 40 minutes, wait for a period of time then watch another one. That's more like what free-to-play is."
Molyneux went on to say that free-to-play games had to be built around user habits, and that the model can’t simply be tacked on after release having been developed with a more traditional payment method in mind.
"You can't introduce free-to-play mechanics to a title six months after it's released," he said.
"It's got to be part of the design. It can't just be crammed in there later on."