There is something enticing about having the option to play online games for free. Who would not want to experience the excitement of great gaming without having to spend any money.

Gaming providers recognise that attracting people with free play is good for business. One of the biggest free to play games is Fortnite which has become a major force in the gaming world with over 250 million players worldwide. Casino game developers like NetEnt have also lead to the rise in opportunities where you can play casino games for free, by enabling free game options like blackjack and roulette. The premise is always the same; to attract players by allowing them to experience a game at no cost. People may be surprised to learn that free to play games can still manage to attract major revenue. This is due to the way the freemium model works.

The freemium model

Most people now have a good understanding of the freemium model but probably do not realise just how much revenue it can create. For instance, Fortnite was the biggest earning free to play game of 2019, with a global revenue of $1.8 billion. It’s not by itself; all of the top ten earners in the free to play market earned revenue of more than $1.1 billion. The overall revenue from free to play games increased by 6% between 2018 and 2019, according to Statista.

This is probably surprising to many people, given that the freemium model is based on offering a core gaming product free of charge. However, this is only part of the story. Players are charged for optional additions such as extra content, in-game currency and customized play. Once players are involved with the game, many of them are willing to pay for additions.

The positives and negatives of this model

The obvious downside of this model, as far as gamers are concerned, is that paying for extra content can add up to a significant amount of money, especially when people get carried away. However, there are ways of making this less of an issue by taking charge of play and spending.

It’s also worth mentioning that there are benefits from using the freemium model, for game developers and players. Developers and gaming companies get to raise significant revenue from the model. This makes them more likely to remain invested in their product. They are more likely to continue improving and enhancing a game that is high performing financially. They are also more likely to fix issues with a game that is popular. This leads to benefits for players. They are able to enjoy improved features and graphics in the game, as well as the removal of glitches.

Free gaming presents an opportunity for players to experience popular games. They are able to participate in good quality game play without spending any money. Players who wish to acquire additional features do so at a cost. It’s these player purchases that lead to huge revenues for gaming companies. It’s a billion dollar model that seems set to continue.